I joined the Hopkins LA trip during my junior year. It was a great opportunity to both get a sense of the city and hear advice from key industry leaders. The trip excelled at showing students a range of work environments and paths within the film industry. I appreciated the trip’s focus on engaging with the JHU film alumni network in LA—especially the young alumni network. I moved to LA this past September to attend UCLA’s Directing MFA program. Upon reflection on my past year in LA, I’m confident that the LA trip aided my decision to pursue graduate school here and encouraged me to keep in touch with my fellow young alums.
The intersession networking trip in LA gave me a clear idea of how to navigate a career in entertainment and what practical steps I could take now to one day land my dream job. Meeting with alumni and industry professionals from a variety of backgrounds showcased the many different ways a degree from JHU can be utilized, from creative development to production to nonprofit work. The connections I made helped me land an internship at
Skydance Media working in their digital marketing department. There, I was able to see how companies cultivate relationships with fans firsthand while also utilizing my creative skills in new ways. With the support of the Film & Media Studies program, I got further clarity for my career path and was introduced to a city I’m excited to one day call home. I’m currently taking full advantage of the work-from-home life, balancing a production assistant role at Small Giant in NYC with being a remote literary assistant at Bohemia Group in LA.
Even though I always knew I wanted to make film and television one day, I honestly had no idea how I would go about doing that. Actually, I still didn’t believe that I would somehow see my path unfold before me when I was accepted into the Hopkins Film trip to LA. How wrong I was! On the first day of the excursion, it felt as if the entire world of the industry was not only visible, but feasible to break into. We met with writers, directors, studio executives, and many other players in the industry who all gave us their time, unique perspectives, and advice. There’s also an alumni panel where the students on the trip get to meet with alum from Hopkins who have made the trek to LA to start their careers. In fact, it was at this event that I made a connection that led to an internship at Plan B Entertainment—yes, I met Brad Pitt—that very summer. There’s almost no chance that I’d be able to put that on my resume without this trip. The trip’s duration was only a single week during Intersession, but the connections I made and the lessons I learned will last a lifetime. Currently, I’m living in Los Angeles developing a television show and feature-length screenplay and prepping for pitch meetings. Hopefully that all goes well. Fingers crossed!
Studio North, Johns Hopkins University’s student-run production company, provides a wide range of opportunities for students to gain hands-on production experience throughout the school year and beyond. Throughout my time as an undergrad, I grew my network as well as my skill set by working on Studio North-funded student projects. It is an excellent way to connect to the film scene at Hopkins, grow as a filmmaker, and meet other students with a similar passion for storytelling through filmmaking.
I was eventually a Studio North grant recipient myself, which allowed me to shoot House, a documentary web series about house music in Chicago, Detroit, and Baltimore. House explores regional differences in house music and what it means to be a member of the house music community, and features interviews with DJs, fans, singers, and promoters. I was lucky to work with a great team of friends and family, and I had the support of both Studio North and the Film & Media Studies faculty, who helped me bring this story to life.
I’m currently working in Los Angeles at NBCUniversal as part of the Page Program, a 12-month rotational learning and development experience, with a position on the Universal Pictures’ Creative Development team.
In the Summer of 2019, I interned at ICM Partners. There’s no way in heaven that I would have gotten this internship if not for the amazing connections I made through JHU’s Film and Media Studies (FMS) department. I met Laura Gordon, a JHU alum and a tenacious young agent at ICM, the prior Intersession when I joined the annual LA trip with Professor Linda DeLibero. This one connection led to a brief email correspondence, a flagged application, and finally a successful interview. I had gotten my foot in the door, so to say, thanks to the network cultivated by Hopkins.
Once at ICM, I was IV’d directly into the pumping artery of Hollywood. Agencies are the hub of all info in the entertainment heart of the world. I covered desks for high-powered agents repping all your favorite stars. I read enough bad scripts to know I had a chance to be a writer in this unforgiving industry. I read enough good scripts to know what the future holds for movies and TV. But most importantly, I pitched a client to ICM. Nothing teaches you more about the world of agencies than pitching a new client, and I will be forever thankful for the experience.
I am entering my senior year at JHU with more goals than I will accomplish, and that’s okay. That’s just what it’s like to be a Hopkins student. What I know for sure is that I will keep writing great scripts. What I hope for sure is that one day you will see them on the silver screen.
The summer before my senior year, I interned in Los Angeles at Beachside Films and Mandeville Films, the latter a job I landed with help from a JHU alumna who was working there at the time. I read script submissions, wrote script coverage, covered desks for the producer’s assistants, and researched potential development material. I particularly enjoyed presenting my notes on scripts during company meetings, as it allowed me to directly participate in the daily workings of a production company. After I graduated, the internships helped me secure a job at United Talent Agency, where I worked as an assistant to a Motion Picture Literary agent. I felt prepared for the position at UTA because I had experience doing things like answering calls and giving script feedback.
These internships not only prepared me professionally, but also clarified whether I wanted to move to LA permanently. At first LA was daunting— it was sprawling, I couldn’t drive, and I didn’t know very many people. Spending a summer there allowed me to explore the city in my spare time. I discovered my favorite neighborhoods, coffee shops, and hikes, and also made friends through my internships. LA felt far less daunting to me when I moved out a year later, and soon it felt like home. I’m currently a TV Writers’ Assistant on Sony’s I Know What You Did Last Summer, and making a short film based on a feature I wrote.