I attended an SULA meeting during the fall semester of my freshmen year at Syracuse, and always knew it was an opportunity I needed to seize. A few years later, I have followed through, and I am so happy that I did. This semester has been wonderful, and one thing that sticks out in my mind the most is how it could have been so different if I was here with another school, or on my own.
Syracuse, and Newhouse, have such a presence here on the West Coast. It allows the students of the SULA program to attend events and have guest speakers in class that we never would have attended or met otherwise. Our professors are all very talented and successful, and they constantly bring in guests such as Mike Knobloch, Stephanie Drachkovitch, and Adam Mazer (just to name a FEW of my favorites) to tell us their own personal stories of making it in the entertainment industry, and to answer our questions. As for events, I’ve gotten to take a picture with Danny Zuker at a SU alum dinner that honored him, and just this past weekend I attended the best concert of my life: The American Music Awards, where I walked by Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar!
Lastly, people reach out to Syracuse and to our professors, asking for SULA students to volunteer and help with their projects, because of Syracuse’s great reputation. Whenever this happens, you should absolutely offer your time because it is a really great hands-on opportunity. I was able to spend one weekend this semester as the Key Production Assistant for a short film titled Ballon, that was directed by an SU alum. I’ve gotten some great production experience in Newhouse classes and at OTN, but there is nothing like being on a professional set! It was my first time ever as a PA, and though it was an exhausting, 40-hour-weekend of running errands and making sure things went smoothly, it truly was fun, and felt very rewarding. It refueled my love for being on a set, and was a great opportunity I took advantage of from my Syracuse connection.