I have certainly learned a lot during my week and a half in the city of Los Angeles. It fits into my expectations that I laid out for myself ahead of the program – but the spontaneity of this industry and city is what caught me off guard. During our first week, we had 4 guest speakers, 3 classes and field trips during our off time. I am a person that always enjoys staying busy and on my feet so this didn’t bother me much, but everything was definitely fast moving. On the academic side of it all, I’ve had such great preparation for a trip like this that I felt equipped to handle the type of research required for each of our guest speakers who end up being the focal point of our classes. We’ve had the producer of Good Will Hunting, Trevor Noah’s agent, editor of Birdman, and Lionsgate Studio Executives that have joined our class so far. I have had the opportunity to really freshen up my interviewing skills and also make sure to take very concise notes because of how impactful their advice tends to be.
On the professional side, I am very used to conversing with professionals in this industry during my years at Pitt. In this program, there is a consistency to that I was not expecting. Every day so far, we have been meeting people in a professional environment. In addition to night classes, I also intern at HBO during the day where I am surrounded by very successful professionals. These two worlds constantly surround me which is sometimes overwhelming. However, what keeps me grounded is the fact that if I want a career in this industry, these interactions happen at that same consistency in the real world. This program turns out to be great practice for those days in my career which is definitely a benefit. On top of that all, as mentioned before, I was granted the Summer Undergraduate Research Award. After class time, which ends at 9:30pm, I sit down with any guest speakers that are also Pitt alumni and interview them in a podcast setting as part of my research goal. This goal is centered around highlighting the careers of Pitt alumni that have succeeded in entertainment and bringing that to light for other Pitt students to realize. The three I have conducted so far have been so interesting and certainly weave together everything so well. I am excited to continue those in the next two weeks!
On a personal level, I came in with the question of: should I move to LA after graduation? After a week and a half, I can’t make a decision on that yet. Los Angeles is a much more different city than anything I’ve experienced and I need more time to explore it all (and all its opportunity) to come to an answer. It has been nice to reflect on what I want for this decision in these blogs! Talk to you all soon!