By Patrick Munnia

What is not to love in California? The sun and beaches… the mountains and palm trees…the In – N – Out, it is all so great. The only thing better than the setting, is actually working in LA. Whether it be fetching prominent rappers from smoking breaks, giving healthy nods of approval to relevant TV personalities, or deftly balancing 13 lattes and 7 cold brews (with almond milk), being on set – in the belly of the beast – has been a great part of SULA.

SULA will be my final semester of undergrad and I can’t help but to look forward to graduation, yet it only seems right to recall the wonderful skills I have developed at Syracuse. Thanks to SULA have finally been able to apply my talents and zealous energy in the “real world.”

  • Basic Writing Skills

One major component of my internship is recording phone messages. Thanks to my basic writing skills, I can successfully scribe a message for someone who is out of the office and even give them a number to call back! I’m still getting a hang of transferring calls. I suppose that is more hand-eye coordination though.

  • Foreign Language

Another great part of SoCal is the rich mixing an immersion of cultures, especially the plethora of food and beverage. I studied Spanish at Syracuse and my professora would be proud to know that thanks to her teachings I can successfully order tacos and beer – at any time of day. My greatest success however was getting a haircut. I was able to communicate in only Spanish. I had to really think but I got one of the best fades of my life!

  • Quantitative Skills

This one is big. Quantitative skills. Hard numbers. My favorite! Since I have a minor in Applied Mathematics, I couldn’t wait to use contribute my enlightened mind to the greater good of television and film production. My knowledge of abstract math, vector calculus and liner algebra would surely put me ahead of the competition. I’ve been able to showcase my talents by making google sheets that tabulate contacts and phone numbers. Organization is key!

  • Physical Education

As one of my professors says, “producing is a contact sport!” He is right! Hours in the gym has harden my body to handle c-stands and sandbags, not to mention has granted me the ability to stand patiently for hours-on-end while being on set. Yoga has limbered my body and mind to stay sane on 14-hour shoot days. PA-ing is tough but rewarding work. Sometimes you get to skateboard down the street in Rancho and other times you get to clean prune juice out of a nursing-home bathtub. You may be thinking, “14 hours is a long time, don’t you get hungry?” Don’t worry, there are all the cool ranch Doritos you can possible chew!

All of these skills boil down to one main thing: doing the little things, often and well. Without them the big picture will never come together. While some of these tasks seem mundane and silly, this is really what is like to start in the “industry.” If working your way up from the bottom is something you can’t handle, LA isn’t for you. If you can handle the simple and mundane things with a smile and great attitude, there is nothing you can’t do!