Pelletier networks with heavy hitters during the “Hofstra in LA” program

Students in Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication spent part of their January break in Hollywood, networking with alumni and other media and entertainment executives as part of the 10th annual “Hofstra in LA” program.

Emma Pelletier of Lynn was among the 20 student participants, with majors in video and television production, filmmaking, screenwriting, public relations and strategic communications, and mass media. They traveled around Los Angeles, engaging with more than 50 leading industry insiders at top media companies. These included FOX Sports, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Silent House productions, Magical Elves, Onyx Collective, Buddha Jones, The Walt Disney Company, National Public Radio (NPR), CBS, ESPN, Marvel Studios, WME, Paramount, Media Res Studio, Mortar Media, Wings for Life, Red Bull, Warner Bros Animation, and DKC Public Relations.

Students also explored iconic West Coast landmarks and activities, including the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Santa Monica Pier, the Hollywood Sign, the Griffith Observatory, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, The Groundlings Theatre and School, and the Warner Bros. Studio backlot.

Emma Pelletier, a filmmaking major, said she signed up for the trip, not thinking that working in Los Angeles would ever become a part of her future plans. “I left with a completely different mindset,” she said. “I feel as though LA is absolutely the place for me, and I am more certain of what area of the industry I want to pursue than I ever have been.

“The ‘Hofstra in LA’ program was easily the best experience of my life,” added Jamie LaGattuta, a television production and studies major. “It gave me the confidence and knowledge that I need as I get ready enter the real world. I learned a lot about myself and the type of person I am and that I am very capable of getting to where I want to go.”

The students – juniors and seniors – were selected from a competitive pool of applicants based on their academics and extracurricular activities. They were accompanied by Herbert School Associate Dean Adria Marlowe and Associate Professor Emeritus of Radio, Television, Film Peter Gershon, as well as MA Public Relations major Julianna Iovino, who served as this year’s graduate assistant.

During the trip, the students also attended a networking reception at the Directors Guild of America (DGA), which included several Herbert School graduates who participated in the “Hofstra in LA” program themselves, as well as high school students who have recently been accepted to Hofstra. More than 150 students have participated in the “Hofstra in LA” program since its inception.

Some of the students’ costs were underwritten by the LHSC Dean’s Advisory Board, alumni and other benefactors. A limited number of full sponsorships were provided by Hofstra alumni to ensure that deserving students can participate in the program regardless of economic background.

Hofstra University’s primary mission is to provide a quality education to its students in an environment that encourages, nurtures, and supports learning. At Hofstra, new ideas take shape through collaboration, engagement, and interaction. Hofstra students create their success with small classes and dedicated faculty, alongside a beautiful campus, plus all the opportunities of New York City within easy reach.

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