In the weeks before arriving in Los Angeles, I was very nervous for a few reasons. Even though I had been planning for a year, I still had a few unsettling thoughts. My three main worries were arriving in LA without a secured internship, not knowing many other students in the program, and living in a city for a few months that I had never once been to. Within maybe two or three days of being here, all of these fears were gone.
I had a couple of interviews for internships when I got here but still had nothing set in stone. It was extremely nerve racking to land in LA and still not know where I would be working for the next four months. In less than a week, I had three different internship offers all at amazing companies in the industry. I would never have had these opportunities without the hard work and help of Lauren Palius and the other members of the SULA offices. I decided to work at Michael De Luca productions located on the Sony Lot in Culver City. So far I am thoroughly enjoying this experience. I have already learned so much and continue to do so every day. The most important thing I have learned at my internship is how to build relationships. After my first week it was clear that more so than a learning experience, this internship would be an opportunity to form relationships with people high up in the industry I would normally never have contact with. On a daily basis I interact with producers of major motion pictures, reading scripts for them and writing coverage. Often times I will simply sit in their office and discuss what I have read. I am incredibly lucky to work in an office where the executives truly value and trust my opinion as this can be rare for an intern position. My office is much smaller and less glamorous than some the places other students are working at but the intimate environment allows me to form close relationships with my co-workers.
All of the students that are a part of the SULA program are a perfect example of why I love Syracuse so much. I have made so many great friends here within the program. Many of the friendships I have made are with people I never would have crossed paths with on campus. It is really great to be surrounded with friends who all share the same passion and ambitions that I have. Between the 50 of us, there is always someone willing to come to whatever restaurant, concert, beach, surfing lesson, etc that you want to go to. Besides the students, the SULA staff does an amazing job at making us feel comfortable in an unfamiliar city. Robin, Lauren, Joan and all of the professors are so friendly and welcoming. The small classes allow us to make great relationships with our professors. It will be incredibly hard to go back to Syracuse and be in a class with 100 people now that I am used to such a close-knit environment.
My first day in LA I already knew I was not going to want to leave. I have lived on the East Coast my entire life so living here is different than anything I have experienced before. I was very worried about the infamous traffic, imaging myself frustrated in the car every day. Honestly, the traffic can be terrible but it is no reason to hate Los Angeles. Since being here, I’ve embraced the constant driving. While it is annoying you really can’t walk anywhere for anything… spending so much time driving from place to place has been an opportunity to really see the city. On my long drive to work in the morning it can be hard not to get frustrated sitting in traffic but I try to take the time as a chance to observe the people and places that I pass. The weather in LA is such a much needed break from two years of the crazy Syracuse climate. Besides the obvious traffic and warm weather, LA has so much to offer. I love that within one city you can be at the beach, on a mountain, surrounded by high rises, or in a suburban area. Each neighborhood has its own personality and unique features. It is such a diverse place. One of my favorite things has been going to Abbott Kinney in Venice. Every first Friday of the month, all of the food trucks from all over LA park on that street. There is literally every type of food you could imagine and they are all so good!
I knew that I was going to have a great time here based on what I have been told by other students but so far this experience has greatly surpassed my expectations. It has only been about 6 weeks and I have grown so much as a person. Every day presents me with something new to learn and experience. Being immersed in the industry has motivated me more than I ever thought possible. While I will be extremely sad to leave here in December, I am already excited to move back when I graduate!