VPA vs. Newhouse – out numbered and out of place
By Shannon Wachtell
My journey to Los Angeles has been anything but ordinary to say the least. When I decided to participate in this program many people in my life we not only confused, but were also completely against the idea. No one quite understood why a Jewelry Major would want to spend a semester in LA learning about the Entertainment Industry instead of taking art classes in Florence or London for the semester. The truth is I didn’t quite understand how it was going to work either, all that I knew was I needed to be out in LA and take part in this program, and nothing was going to stand in my way.
Coming out to LA I knew it would be a difficult transition for myself going from VPA to Newhouse, but I never imagined how much relevant information I would be learning. The things I have learned while being out here, you cannot learn in a classroom. These are not things that can be taught; but rather learned in the process of doing new things. I think that everyone should be given this opportunity no matter what field they are studying, because not only have I learned valuable information about the entertainment industry, I have learned valuable information about myself and my goals for the future.
Being forced into a new environment, knowing barely anyone and being completely out of your element forces you to think fast and live independently. I am so grateful to have experienced this now before I actually have to move out on my own after graduation. Interning 3 days a week at a major YouTube Network called StyleHaul while also taking classes has prepared me for what life will be like after graduation. It is almost as if I am getting a practice run at it to see what it will be like. This is an experience that not many people can say they have gotten.
Through this program I have met more influential people than I could have ever imagined. Celebrities, CEO’s, Producers, Directors, Life coaches you name it, these people are all around me every single day. I still am in awe of how much they have taught me. I have heard countless panels, and guest speakers while being here and while many of them have different views on the industry, all of them have given us the same one piece of advice. No matter where you come from, no matter what your education might have been, if you are the hardest working person around you and you do not burn any bridges you can have any job you want. That little piece of advice is what has been getting me through this entire experience, because although I may be an outsider in the world of TRF majors, I know that there is nothing stopping me from succeeding in this industry except for myself.