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Friday, April 19, 2019
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ELA Students Figure Out Post-Graduation Moves

With graduation on the horizon, seniors who spent the Spring 2017 semester at Emerson College Los Angeles (ELA) face the inevitable question: What’s next?

For some soon-to-be graduates, it’s all about finding a place to live. Samantha Crichton ’17 has a job lined up. She got an offer from Irwin Entertainment, the television production company she interned for this semester. When she begins work as a development associate, Crichton will be tasked with conducting research, helping out with sizzle reels, and storyboarding, among other responsibilities.

“I assumed I was going to be looking for a job after graduating, so that’s pretty nice,” said Crichton, who wants to write in comedy one day. “Now I have to do the apartment hunt, but having one part taken care of is a weight off my shoulders.”

Crichton is one of more than 10 ELA students who were extended an offer from their internship sites. This academic year, nearly 400 students participated in more than 400 internship opportunities, and, for the first time, ELA hosted a breakfast for internship providers as part of an effort to deepen engagement.

Caroline Sullivan '17. 

Another student who received an offer from her internship site was Emily Barger ’17. The aspiring director hopes to create documentaries or narrative fiction one day, but she had to turn down the job offer because the salary wouldn’t allow her to save money and pay off her student debt. Now, she plans to head back home to Connecticut to work and save money.

“It’s surreal. I can’t believe my college experience went by so fast,” said Barger. “Hopefully I’ll be able to save enough to come back out to LA.”

Saving money is also what Caroline Sullivan ’17 plans to do. The last semester marked Sullivan’s first time in California, and she enjoyed sampling what LA has to offer.

“I like LA because there are a ton of opportunities and it’s a very distinct city,” said Sullivan, who hopes to write and direct for television one day. “Over the summer, I plan on staying with my grandmother to save up some money and move back to LA in the fall.” 

Alex Bradley '17. 

For Alex Bradley ’17, finding an apartment was more of a stressor than landing a job. She holds a part-time job currently and knew she could find other work, but realizing she’d have to move as soon as the semester ended kept her on edge. Then, a couple months ago, things started to fall in place. First, came the apartment. It’s in Hollywood, close to public transportation. Next, came the full-time paid internship at the production company Sonar Entertainment.

“When I found out, I felt relief. I felt really blessed. I literally got on my knees and was like ‘thank God’ because not everyone gets the guarantee of a job when they graduate,” said Bradley.

Her story is one of persistence. Bradley applied for an internship at Sonar Entertainment in hopes of interning there this semester but was rejected. She kept in touch with her contact at the site, reached out in March, and ended up securing the internship, which has strong potential to turn into a full-time job.

“It’s validating. It makes me feel like I’m making the right decision by staying out in LA,” said Bradley, who estimates that she applied for 10–15 jobs during her search. “I don’t think I’ve processed it yet.” 

For Crichton, once she’s found a place to live, there’s something else she has tackle.

“I hate driving,” she said. “I just have to get over it.”