Experiencing the Media Sandbox L.A. Study Away

I feel I experienced Los Angeles not as a tourist, but as an observer. The L.A. field experience is a necessity for those going into the media world or someone who is confused about what path they want to take. We observed many job opportunities with different companies that had different aspects of the media world. There are a plethora of takeaways from this trip:

  1. I realized my resume needs to look much more creative. 
  2. Engaging with those connections you make frequently is very important to make it out here: you cannot go at it alone. 
  3. The Spartan network in LA is very strong and they are always willing to help anyone out, which is very rare for alumnus from other colleges and universities. Even during our visits to many sites, we met even more fellow alumni that were working in these companies that we were not aware of. 
  4. Michigan State alumni are very friendly, and their stories are very inspiring. I was able to hear many ways people made it into LA and are still flourishing, there. These alumni also have their own passion projects they engage in outside of their work life which goes to show how hardworking and determined they still are. 

This trip also exposed us to many other types of jobs I did not know were available. For example, the Warner Brothers had an archive department where they oversee props and costumes. Mob Scene and mOcean made me want to consider the advertising and marketing aspects of film and media production. 

There was something for everyone who went on the trip from sales to marketing to production to broadcast journalism. At NFL Network, as we watched a live show, Total Access. While they were on the air during commercial breaks, we had the honor of talking to each talent/anchor individually. They had many great pieces of advice to give those who are intending to make it in the field. 

Univision has many opportunities for growth in sales, content development, and much more. Univision is a bilingual (Spanish and English) brand that works on multimedia programming. AEG Live and many other sites had sales and business-related staff members who talked about how to make it in sales and opened our minds to see other options we have if we are going into marketing/advertising. 

Most companies we visited proudly welcomed conversations about diversity and inclusion. Companies like Portal A, Univision, Tastemade prioritized diversity. This is a significant step in the media industry which is important to me when I consider working for a brand/company. As a diverse woman, I want to be able to see that stand out in my workplace. I was infatuated by the entire culture and attitude of these companies. 

Wherever we went, whomever we spoke to, the stories and advice we got were priceless. This trip is the best of both worlds: you get college credit while having an amazing time learning about future career opportunities from the best in the industry. You also get private tours, hear about exclusive projects that are not known to the public, and … you get to be in Los Angeles for a whole week! 

This experience is something students should consider because you get to learn all you need to know and get a sense of where you think you can prosper in the industry. Most of us get a chance to only do research on companies in LA. For those of us applying for jobs post-graduation, getting a tour, meeting with staff for Q & A’s, and observing the workload and the type of projects a company helps create is an incredible opportunity. 

If anyone wants to make a move to this huge city, networking is key. And, it’s exactly what you will gain throughout the course. This study away program is diverse and connected, which will help you better prepare for the future. You will have a better network of people who can offer you guidance. I am much more informed on the real world of the media industry than I was before this trip. Being a part of the LA Field Experience allowed me to not be as scared as I was about a big city like Los Angeles. 

By Humaira Newaz

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