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Spring 2017 Students Enjoy First Week at ELA

California is usually bathed in sunshine, but lately it’s been covered in rain. Luckily, for the more than 200 students moving into Emerson College Los Angeles on January 17, the sun came out. It was the perfect weather for exploring the City of Angels.

“I really like the geography [in LA]. In New York, you don’t have both the beach and the mountains a short drive away,” said Quinn Baganz ’17, an aspiring filmmaker. “And of course, the climate.”

Quinn Baganz waits for his car to be delivered at Emerson College Los Angeles. Photo/Daryl Paranada

Baganz spent a few days hiking and exploring Hollywood before moving into ELA while Amanda Koenig ’17 and her family visited relatives and hit up Santa Monica.

“People don’t know how to drive here,” said Koenig, a native of Long Island, New York, who’s renting a car for the semester. “Everyone’s polite.”

When I asked Koenig’s father what he was most excited about, he joked: “Having her out of the house.”

Amanda Koenig '17 says she's excited to get hands-on experience at her internship. Photo/Daryl Paranada

The thought of driving terrified Madalyn Cohen ’17, who spent a few days with her mother exploring LA—visiting downtown, Universal Studios, and more—since it was their first time in the city.

“Why can’t I walk anywhere?” asked Cohen.

Madalyn Cohen '17 and her mother prepare to check-in at ELA. Photo/Daryl Paranada

One thing all the students were excited about: getting to know a new city.

“I’m excited to just explore LA, explore the space with people I love and adore,” said Nydia Hartono ’17. “I want to move here for a year at least [after graduating].”

Other activities for students during Welcome Week at ELA included an end-of-week carnival, a hike to Griffith Observatory, a visit to the Hollywood Farmer’s Market, and an alumni panel. Panelists speaking during the Your Internship, Your Future panel included Dominique Banas ’13, researcher for The Ellen DeGeneres Show; Gregory Crafts ’03, managing director at Theatre Unleashed, actor, and playwright; Thomas Pettinelli ’13, director of development at Branded Pictures Entertainment; Chrystee Pharris ’98, actress; and Joya Weinroth ’98, supervising producer at Hollywood Today Live.

ELA faculty member Ellen Snedeker speaks with panelists Gregory Crafts ’03, Thomas Pettinelli ’13, Chrystee Pharris ’98, Joya Weinroth ’98, and Dominique Banas ’13. Photo/Daryl Paranada

Panelists covered a wide range of topics, including advice on networking, how to get informational meetings, and tips to succeed as an intern.

On networking: “Talk about things that you know,” said Pharris.

“Listen more than you talk,” added Crafts.

On how to get informational meetings: “Use your student card,” said Pettinelli.

On being a successful intern:  “An internship is a limited experience, so try to deal,” said Weinroth. “Try to find the positives in every task.”

“No task is too small,” added Banas. “You’re a sponge, so take every task and soak it all up.”

From left: Gregory Crafts ’03, Chrystee Pharris ’98, Dominique Banas ’13, Joya Weinroth ’98, and Thomas Pettinelli ’13. Photo/Daryl Paranada

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