By Milena Toro
So you’re probably reading through these blogs wondering whether or not you should go to LA and when… well for starters I came to LA my last semester of senior year. When I was a junior I became very indecisive. I knew I wanted to go to SULA my senior year but couldn’t decide between my first semester and last semester. I landed on the decision to go my last semester of senior year. Unlike many others who might miss their friends – I thought to myself “what did I come to college for?” the answer to that question is that I came to college for an education and eventually a job. Yes, I came to college to also make friends, but more importantly I came for an all around experience that would get me somewhere in life. Your friends will be there when you get back and so will ‘Cuse! But the opportunity to go to LA for a semester (while enrolled as a student at SU) only comes around once.
I’m happy to say that I came during the RIGHT semester. Coming my senior year of college has benefited me in so many ways. This was the first time I ever came to Los Angeles and it has taught me so much about the industry of entertainment and what it means to live a REAL adult life. Being in LA for the past couple of months has helped me to find myself. With my internship in Development, I was able to learn more than I could have ever imagined. I had the opportunity to work on the Sony Pictures Studios Lot and learn how a big name like Happy Madison Productions functions within the TV realm. I have learned so much more about coverage through the guidance of my bosses and I finally found the time to learn more about what my actual interests are.
Being in LA and taking classes here gives you the opportunity to live life in the real world. The reason for this is because you have your own car, you drive to and from work/class every day, while still taking classes and learning. Yes, it can be exhausting, and I wouldn’t recommend doing two internships to anyone for those reasons, but I have honestly learned more about myself through the program than I have within the past 3 years of college. The reason for this isn’t because being on campus isn’t great, but because you are so consumed as a college student at SU by everything around you that you don’t really get the chance to take a step back and get a feel for who you are and where you really want to be and work in life.
Since the group was fairly small, I was able to become friends with people I never even saw on Syracuse University’s campus, and had professors that actually worked in the industry. Almost every week we have a guest speaker come into the classroom from big names such as “The Bachelor” to “Netflix” and “Revolt”, this way we were able to learn and network all at once. The events such as “A Night with CAA” and our “Syracuse Orientation Reception” allowed me to meet so many other people in the industry as well.
During my time off, I got the chance to do things like go to the beach, go hiking, go to vintage flea markets and attend live shows like The Queen Latifah Show and Ellen! Did I mention that I missed the snowstorm while back on the East Coast? Yes! Coming to sunny weather in LA and coming back to Syracuse in sunny weather will be one of the best transitions ever. I can’t wait to head back to the East Coast to graduate in a month and start my next chapter in life with new friends, new connections on BOTH coasts and a new understanding of what it takes to live and work on either sides of the US. Even if you want to come to LA as a junior, this will be one of the greatest experiences ever, hands down! Stop being scared, just do it!
With love from the West Coast,