Take a Roman Holiday

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Delve into all the Eternal City has to offer.

For 3,000 years, Rome has been a cultural destination. One visit will only whet your appetite for all this sprawling cosmopolitan city has to share. From ancient wonders such as the Coliseum and the Forum, to St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City (actually its own separate country!), Rome has enchanted travelers for millennia. See how real Romans live by visiting the neighborhood of Trastevere, especially its Sunday morning market, Porta Portese. Don’t forget to toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain before departing to ensure you will visit again.

The Big Picture

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The role of creative director in today’s advertising world.

There is no hard and fast definition for what a creative director does, and like many roles in the creative world, the ins and outs are in flux as our workplaces change. That being said, when it comes to the advertising and marketing arenas, a creative director is typically seen as the person who directs the big picture, pushing a vision for a project from start to finish. What are the qualities of a good creative director? Do you have what it takes? What does the daily routine of a creative director involve? We answer all your burning questions in three, two, one…

Do you inspire others?

No matter if you work mainly in print, digital or film, a creative director is someone who can lead and inspire a team. As the top of the heap, creative directors have to maintain a cohesive look for any given project, from the look to the tone, and everything in between. So, are you good at recognizing other people’s brilliant ideas? Can you help someone nurture a nugget of inspiration to fruition? Do you try to protect good work so that it can see the light of day?

Do you have what it takes?

Are you creative? Are you open to suggestions? Can your ego handle honest feedback? Can you provide specific direction? All of these are the elements found in the best creative directors. The goal is to help your team build ideas through a process of collaboration that embodies the creative standards that you established and clearly communicated.

Do you feel comfortable making the tough calls?

A creative director means knowing when to give someone a chance, and when it is time to part ways. It also means not giving yourself all the best assignments. It means taking the blame and not just the credit. Finally, and probably most important, it means having the confidence to seek out co-workers that are frankly smarter than you are. When you hire people that you can learn from you improve the reputation of your entire team. And don’t be afraid to create an environment of healthy competition so everyone is striving to produce their best work.

It’s a lot, we know. But if this all sounds like you, you might have what it takes to be a creative director.

Bid Hello to Beantown

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Walk through history in America’s Cradle of Liberty.

When it comes to history, Boston is steeped in it—literally. The site of the Boston Tea Party, Boston was a central location for much of the American Revolution. Walk the Freedom Trail, tour the USS Constitution or view the art at the Museum of Fine Arts, there’s historic spots a plenty. Not a history buff? Strolling through the campus of Harvard is an option, as is catching a game at Fenway Park. Or simply see the all the sites in style as you take to the water for a Duck Tour.

Even More Grammar Mistakes

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Errors in speaking or writing that many smart people make. Skip these common grammar flubs.

Everyone makes mistakes now and again when it comes to the things they say and write. It’s simply a fact of life. That being said, those errors, if left unaddressed, can influence how others view you and your work. That’s why we’ve honed in on some of the most common mistakes that even the super intelligent can make to help you improve how the world hears (or reads) you.

  1. Subject-Verb Agreement. If you do nothing else to improve your writing, then work to eliminate all errors in this department. If your subject is singular, the verb should be as well.

  2. Sentence Fragments. Next on the list are incomplete sentences, i.e. those without an independent clause. Every complete sentence must have a subject and a verb (and they must agree!).

  3. Dangling Modifiers. Got a word or phrase that has been separated from the word it is modifying or describing? Then you’ve got a misplaced or dangling modifier. Here’s an example: After finishing the project, the day felt more relaxing. It should be: After finishing the project, she felt the day was more relaxing. Because “After finishing the project” doesn’t modify “the day.”

  4. Unparallel structure. This typically happens with paired constructions or a series. For instance in a list of activities, make sure all start similarly—not one with a verb, one with a noun and one with an adjective. Here’s an example of parallel construction done correctly:

    Meet expectations

    Generate new business

    Make monthly quotas

  5. Me to start a sentence, I to end one. These are errors that happen a lot. You know “I” is wrong if you take the other person’s name out. Wrong: He went with Carl and I. Because you wouldn’t say He went with I. Same goes for me at the beginning of a sentence. Wrong: Me and Joy started a pottery class. Because you wouldn’t say Me started a pottery class.

Old City, New World

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Enjoy the European atmosphere of Quebec’s capital.

Want to truly take in the beauty of Montreal? Head to the Belvedere observatory up Mont-Royal for a panoramic view of the city’s skyline. Hopefully you’ve worked up an appetite, because Montreal is a city for foodies. Be sure to partake of regional specialties like poutine or Montreal-style pastrami, and hit up one of the city’s two main markets: Jean-Talon and Atwater. There’s also plenty of history and architecture to view, whether it’s the gothic Notre-Dame Basilica, the charm of Old-Montreal or the artsy Plateau neighborhood.