Becoming Food Instagram Famous with Michelle Buslov

How Michelle started and grew her food Instagram page to having over 1,700 followers

Photos taken from Michelle’s Instagram

My good friend Michelle and I share many things in common, we both studied abroad together on Babson’s BRIC program, we love finding great deals, and we love food. We both enjoy eating savory dim sum, lobster rolls, and poke bowls on a night out and always make sure to snap a picture before the meal begins- and Michelle definitely has a knack for food photography as you can see above! Over the COVID-19 pandemic’s quarantine period, Michelle decided to turn her food photo skills and passion for new restaurant finds into starting a food focused Instagram account, where she showcases her latest eats. Try to control the drooling as Michelle takes us through how she has achieved such tasty success.

Michelle, tell us a little bit about you. 

I just graduated from Babson and am working remote at an e-commerce analytics start up. I recently started a food blog with the handle @bostonfoodie_mish to share and find restaurants in the Boston area! 

Why start and food instagram and why now?

I was sitting at home one night until around 3 AM just following food accounts and scrolling through Yelp! looking at new restaurants I wanted to try and it suddenly hit me that I could make one of these accounts myself. I really liked the idea of having my food account separate from my personal account because, instead of spamming my friends with food pictures, I could share them with the foodie community who are really interested in learning about new restaurants and dishes. 

What was the most surprising thing you learned about running a food instagram?

I think I was surprised by how engaged and supportive the food community was. If someone likes your page, they will go back and like or comment on a lot of your photos and put in the effort to send you a message about how much they like it. It’s always nice to have an Instagram community where people are building each other up and sharing pictures of something they really love! 

What is some advice you would give to someone who is interested in starting a food insta of their own?

I think the number one thing that has helped me has been engaging with other foodies, especially ones that had a lot of followers or had pages that I wanted to use to guide me. Almost like networking and just saying “Hey, I’m new to this, what is some advice you have” because the people who are actually in it and running a successful food Instagram will really know what is necessary to get there. Of course general social media growth applies, but they can give you specific advice to the food industry. Although a lot of people didn’t reply, some big accounts did and they really helped me grow by giving me tips on my photos, hashtags, and how to gain more followers overall. Sometimes they would even repost my content and give me a wider audience! 

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What is the biggest challenge in running your page?

The biggest challenge is definitely keeping up with the time commitment associated with having a food blog. Taking time everyday to engage with others and take quality pictures at restaurants can sometimes get tricky with a busy work day, but I think the best way to overcome that is taking it day by day and remembering that this is something I’m doing for fun. If I don’t respond to a comment it’s not the end of the world and everyone understands. 

What is the craziest thing that has happened to your food instagram since you started it?

One thing that was kind of crazy was when I got an email inviting me to some foodie event in Boston Common. It was right after a month of having a food Instagram and I wasn’t sure if it was a foodie event. I have my email in my Instagram account but no one had emailed me for foodie reasons so I was really confused. However, I couldn’t find any information about this event on the internet so it seemed like it was a closed event. I emailed back asking if there was a charge for the event. They responded back saying that it was free and that I could bring a friend. I ended up showing up with my boyfriend and it was a foodie event with all this free food and well-known foodies with a lot of followers. I had a little imposter syndrome around all these people with fancy cameras and tens of thousands of followers but it was such a fun experience and I got to try some amazing food from Earl of Sandwich and delicious ice cream from The Tipping Cow Creamery!

What are some food instagrams that inspire you that you follow:






Do you have any goals or milestones for this fun project?

 I definitely have some goals as far as growing followers and featuring restaurants that may be less conventional. I really want to stay authentic and not just post things that I know will get a lot of likes, so posting a diverse set of foods has been super important to me and I hope to add even more types of cuisine. 

What are some of your favorite places to eat and take instagram worthy photos of your food?

I would say my favorite place is definitely Gourmet Dumpling House in Chinatown because soup dumplings are AMAZING. As far as cute pics go, Boston Burger Company and Taiyaki NYC have some really aesthetic looking desserts, so I definitely know I can always hit up one of those for unreal pictures!

What are you waiting for? Go follow Michelle!



Starting a TikTok Empire with Julian Parra

How Julian Parra racked up over 80,000 followers on TikTok giving career advice.

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My friend Julian Parra has always been one of my go-to people in terms of who I get career advice from. Having worked in the Center for Career Development at our college and having navigated the job circuit to land a position at IBM, Julian has both incredible professional and life experience to draw from. Recently, he created a TikTok channel to share some of his advice, which has accumulated over 80,000 followers. I sat down with Julian to understand a little bit more about how he built a social media empire around his passion for helping others professionally.

So Julian, tell us a little bit about yourself!

Sure thing Ursula! So I was born and raised in Hawthorne, NJ, I’m a recent graduate from Babson College, and I’m currently an Offering Manager at IBM.

How did you first come up with the idea to start a TikTok channel giving professional and personal development advice?

I first found out about TikTok in December 2019, and immediately, I was super interested in how the TikTok algorithm worked. The app is engineered for virality and users who may not have many followers can have videos blow up on the app. At Babson, I was a Peer Career Ambassador at Babson’s Center for Career Development for three years, and in my role, I met with many students a semester to help with resumes, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters, and all things career development. This experience solidified my passion for personal and career development and mentorship, so while I was in quarantine, I decided to combine my two interests in social media content creation and career development and starting posting on TikTok!

How have you worked on growing your following?

I first focused on the career-development niche and consistently posted at least one TikTok a day related to that. I also studied the way the TikTok algorithm works, why it pushes certain content over others, and optimized my future content accordingly.

How do you keep your TikTok followers engaged?

I try to respond to as many comments as I can on my videos and am always open to suggestions as to the content they want to see. It’s been great reading comments and direct messages from people saying that my content has helped them level up in their career development journeys. I hope to go on TikTok Live more consistently and encourage my followers to follow me on my other platforms like Instagram or LinkedIn.

You currently have over 8ok followers on TikTok, was there ever a major turning point for you and your channel?

I had been posting 2 TikToks a day for a month and hadn’t seen much traction. However, in mid-July, I started an “Interviewer-Interviewee” series, in which I gave concrete examples of how I think people should respond to certain questions in interviews to ensure a successful outcome. I received a lot of engagement from those videos and continued to post that type of content. I also uploaded a “How to send work emails like a boss” TikTok that currently has over 1.5m views that helped jumpstart my growth on the platform. Finally, I was incredibly grateful and humbled to have been featured on Buzzfeed’s Facebook and Instagram platforms, which has motivated me to keep providing the best content I can!

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What are three pieces of advice that you would give to anyone currently unemployed?

First, I encourage you to do your research on what companies you’re interested in working for and get clear on what exactly you want. Think about your own strengths and align that with your interests. Knowing what kind of job you see yourself working in will allow you to have a more focused path to getting to your end goal. Second, I encourage you to focus on building out your network. Although slightly cliche, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool if used efficiently. Reach out to someone whose career you would like to emulate, and ask them to hop on a 10-minute call. You never know what can happen. Third, don’t get discouraged. Although easier said than done, be sure to set time aside every day towards your goal of getting a job. This can be applying to this amount of roles, or reaching out to this amount of people. It’s always okay to take a step back, reflect, take a break, and go back to the job search when you’re ready. Celebrate the little successes and reflect on how far you’ve come. This should get you motivated to continue seeking your dream job.

What is the most valuable piece of advice someone has given to you?

One valuable piece of advice that comes to mind is that “whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” As soon as we understand the true power our minds have, we can achieve literally anything. Moreover, I am incredibly appreciative of being surrounded by friends who support my journey and endeavors and push me to continue to reach new heights. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so it’s important for everyone to choose wisely!


Lastly, what about the future excites you?Screen Shot 2020-08-19 at 4.35.00 PM

I am incredibly grateful for my role at IBM, as it’s allowing me to grow professionally and personally, it challenges me intellectually, and my team is very supportive. I’m also super grateful for the platform I’ve developed on social media. I aim to stay consistent and post as much content as I can on TikTok and Instagram, and hope to motivate, inspire, and educate more and more people around the world!

How to find Julian


Business Instagram:

Personal Instagram: