I think if I were speaking to myself at the start of the program, there are a few things I wish I was more aware of.
The biggest point would be not to burn yourself out. During the program, I interned at HBO from 7am-3pm, did my homework assignments from 3pm-5pm, ate dinner and then went to my Business of Entertainment class at Lionsgate from 6pm-11pm. On a weekly basis, this was certainly a lot to accomplish. I enjoyed every second of it because I learned so much, but I wish I gave myself more time to breath during the week. The main personal reason of coming to Los Angeles was to explore the city and be able to reflect on my time there for when I graduate next April. If I spent more time on myself, I felt as though I could have even better embraced my time in Los Angeles.
However, my weekends were full of activity. Some highlights included attending the Minions: Rise of Gru Premiere & After-Party, watching a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live, exploring the skate park in Venice Beach, going to Santa Monica Pier and so much more. We made sure our weekends were fully of exploration so that we could get to know our potentially new destination after college. Professionally, we have had some amazing guest speakers that we’ve had the chance to work with. With my podcast series, I had the awesome opportunity to interview Pitt alum like a Founding Executive at Lionsgate Studio, Fox Digital Sports Producer, Freelance Director of Photography, Production Coordinator on This is Us, TV writer for Starz Channel and many more. Their advice has been beyond helpful and I’m so appreciative for the community of Pitt alum that exists in Los Angeles.
I don’t think I would change my mindset of my experiences here. I felt prepared when I arrived here. I made the connections, I worked with the Program Director to schedule guest interviews, and I made sure to explore the city. The only thing that persists is to make sure I gave myself rest and time to reset. It’s important to do that often because if not, the schedule of this program can lead to exhaustion and moments of frustration. It’s impossible to talk to everyone I wished to speak to, so making sure I managed my expectations of what was possible was important.
One goal I wish I had a clearer sense of was my scheduling during the weekends. If I blocked out times to see certain parts of Los Angeles, I could better manage what I covered. The weekends were super important in discovering the area so a better schedule of not only where to go, but where/what to eat would be super helpful. Besides that, enjoy those relaxing moments to make sure you appreciate how wonderful of an opportunity this is!