Spring Study Away in L.A. Packed with Opportunities

group of students standing in front of the universal studios globe

Ask the students and faculty who participated in the College of Arts & Letters alternate spring break class Creativity and Entertainment in L.A to sum up their reasons for going and the advantages of the program, and one word comes to everyone’s lips: Opportunity.

“It’s an outstanding opportunity for the College to provide students—who all want to work in the entertainment industry—an insider’s look at what it’s like, direct from our alumni and other contacts actually working in the field,” says CAL Assistant Dean for Technology and Innovation Scott Schopieray. “The students get to meet and network with these people and learn about their jobs, businesses and industry experiences.”

Post-trip student surveys honed right in on program advantages. As one student wrote, “Learning about how various types of businesses within the entertainment industry work is an incredible opportunity for us as students. For instance, at Universal Studios, we saw first-hand how the public-facing of a theme park is managed—how a studio portrays itself—from the people actually doing it.”

Now in its second year, the CAL Creativity and Entertainment in L.A class was led by Schopieray, and by MSU Department of English/Film Studies Curriculum Development Specialist Peter Johnston.

Learning about how various types of businesses within the entertainment industry work is an incredible opportunity for us as students.

The tight seven-day schedule comprised a wide range of industry-related activities including tours, meetings, information and networking sessions, and group dinners with industry insiders, as well as just the right amount of experiences with the sunny Southern California lifestyle.

Top companies visited for tours and information sessions over the weeklong study away program included Universal Studios, Panavision, mOcean, The Walt Disney Studios, and Dreamworks. The students also visited and toured the USC and UCLA film schools. Entertainment-related industries and creative functional areas represented included film, animation, marketing, digital and information technology, theme parks, motion picture equipment, cable television, user experience, directors, producers, writers, camera operators, and music professionals.

In short, something for every student’s interests. College of Arts & Letters alumni were well represented by entertainment industry veterans Bill and Carol Mechanic, Jack Epps, and Peter Stougaard.