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Semester in LA Hosts Assistant Workshop

April 5, 2013

The Semester in LA (SiLA) program welcomed back young alumni this month for a special Assistant Workshop housed on the Raleigh Studio Lots. With more than 30 current students in attendance, alumni offered advice and insights into the reality of working in the entertainment industry and how to establish a promising career.

Just two years out of Columbia College Chicago, recent graduates Whitney Fox (Nickelodeon Studios), Allyson Nelson (Pretty Little Liars), Christen Tulp (The Ellen DeGeneres Show), Mike Marsoupian (ICM), Paul Alan Cope (optioned writer), and Timmy Tamisiea (optioned writer) have paved an impressive path into the industry. As graduates of the program, the six alumni represent only a small cross section of the SiLA alumni network.

The alumni panel stressed the importance of hard work, ambition, and relying on the skills and network provided by Columbia College. “A lot of my jobs in Los Angeles have come from the Columbia network,” stated Tamisiea, a graduate of the MFA Directing/Screenwriting program.

Tulp agreed. “When I walked into my first interview at The Ellen Show, my boss looked over my resume and stopped on Semester in LA,” she said. “He had gone to Columbia and attended the program, too!”

With guest lectures, studio tours, and a focus on portfolio work, SiLA gives students the opportunity to develop the skills for getting their first jobs in the entertainment field.

In an ever-changing industry, connections mean everything. “It’s all about making sure you find the right people, staying positive, and getting that next job,” said Fox, story assistant at Nickelodeon.

The current students in attendance gleaned from the panel a better understanding of what they can look forward to after graduation. “I think it was really encouraging to hear from people I recognized from Columbia who have industry jobs already,” said Rachel Pierce, SiLA student in the Drama Writing program.

To learn more about the SiLA program or attend an upcoming information session, visit www.colum.edu/semesterinla.