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Excited ELA Students Move In, Receive Internship Advice

Move-in day at Emerson College Los Angeles (ELA) brought Emersonians from far and wide to Hollywood—some with a few bags, others with a truckload of stuff.

James N. Rolstone ’17, a Visual and Media Arts major, made the trek from Boston in four and a half days. Since he plans to get an apartment in LA after completing his last semester, Rolstone brought an entire moving truck of stuff—enough to fill four carts, with some items staying in storage. Some of the items that made the journey to LA include a bike, furniture, and fake sheepskin to put on his desk chair.

James N. Rolstone

James N. Rolstone ’17 and three of his carts. Photo/Daryl Paranada

“I’m excited to explore and for the weather, not having it be humid,” said Rolstone, who’s interning at the post-production company Chainsaw.

Ellie Romano ’16, a Journalism major, brought fewer bags with her, but she did fit in one unique item: a Squatty Potty, or toilet accessory stool. An intern at AwesomenessTV this semester, Romano said she’d love to stay in LA after wrapping up the semester.

“I’m most looking forward to warm weather in the winter,” said Romano, who flew out to LA from New Jersey with her parents.

Ellie Romano and her parents

Ellie Romano with her parents, Lisa and Mark. Photo/Daryl Paranada

Animation major Olivia Still ’17 said the most unusual item she brought was her lacrosse stick, which she plans to utilize when she has a break from her academic coursework and internship at the production and motion design company Psychic Bunny.

“Hiking, going to the beach, and seeing the West Coast for the first time is what I’m most excited bout,” said Still.

From left: ELA RAs Betyel Kahsai '16, Savannah Williams-Radecic '17, Nicole Eng '17, and Gabrielle Ruiz '17. Photo/Daryl Paranada 

Many other students expressed the same sentiment. Annie Fell ’16, a Writing for Film and Television major, said she plans to move to New York after completing her final semester at ELA, but that she might consider staying in California if she ends up liking the city. Rachel Halilej ’16, who’s from San Francisco, said she’s been to LA many times but was excited about the location of ELA and living “in the middle of everything.” For Park City, Utah, native Ruhi Radke ’16, getting to know LA is part of the appeal of spending a semester at ELA.

“It’s a change from Boston, so just getting used to the city will be fun,” said Radke, who’s interning at Sony this semester. “I’ve never been here before.”

Ruhi Radke and her father

Ruhi Radke '16 and her father, Rajesh. Photo/Daryl Paranada

Enrique Razon ’17 might have made the longest journey to ELA. The Visual and Media Arts major flew into LA from the Philippines, where he spent the summer with his family. Getting to know the city was what he was most looking forward to, he said.

“This is where he eventually hopes to work in the industry, so he’s excited,” said Enrique’s mother, Lizzy, who also made the journey to LA with her husband and daughter.

Jennifer Austin

Jennifer Austin ’17 poses with her skeleton, Bob. Photo/Daryl Paranada

While some students and their families made the move to LA over the course of a few days or a short plane ride, Jennifer Austin ’17 spent the entire summer trekking across the United States. Traveling on the road since May on what she calls a “winding route,” Austin saw enough of the country that she can now say she’s visited all 48 of the contiguous states. Move-in day marked her first time in LA.

“I’m most excited about getting into what’s going to happen this semester,” said Austin, an Acting major. “There are a lot of opportunities here.”

As part of the first-week programming, students are invited to participate in a host of different activities, including a welcome carnival, hike to Griffith Observatory, community service event at LA Food Bank, and a professional development panel. Alumnus Fernando Febres ’12, marketing manager at Baxter of CA / L’Oreal; LA Alumni Chapter Co-Chair Gia Galligani ’98, producer and director; Amanda Johns ’04, TV drama writer; Dana Powers ’02, human resources partner at William Morris Entertainment; and David Rapaport ’00, casting director at David Rapaport Casting, offered advice to students during the panel about how to succeed at their internships.

From left: Fernando Febres ’12, Amanda Johns ’04, Gia Galligani '98, David Rapaport ’00, and Dana Powers ’02

“I showed up and worked hard every day,” Johns told the students. “When you’re an intern, you’re there to learn every day, so don’t begrudge the work you’re there to do.”

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