Students participating in QU in LA explore a digital playground

August 14, 2023

Sam Bloch sitting in the middle of current Quinnipiac students within the Google campus

A handful of Quinnipiac students embarked on a unique summer-long experience through Quinnipiac in Los Angeles. As part of the experience, several Quinnipiac alumni gave them a guided tour of Google.

Sam Bloch, MS ’23, a quality operations manager at Google, hosted two panels for the students. One panel was hosted by individuals who were near the start of their careers and shared how they are aligning their career goals with their positions. The second panel offered insights into leadership and how career paths can shift over time.

“For me, hosting this was incredibly special,” said Bloch. “I love Quinnipiac, and although I completed most of my time with Quinnipiac online, I find that Hamden is full of some of the most talented, creative, kindhearted and unique students around. Our sense of community is overflowing and to be able to facilitate an event that helps connect the university with Google meant so much to me. It feels great to be able to give back to the school that has helped mold so much of my early professional life.”

Bloch also arranged a tour in their world-class Playa Vista Spruce Goose campus. The historical and former airplane hangar building was converted into a modernized office space that the students — like Jordan Stewart ’24 — enjoyed touring.

“Our exclusive tour at Google was one of the best parts of the summer for me and the rest of the students in LA,” said Stewart. “We got to see the inside of Sam’s day-to-day life. He showed us unique workspaces, interesting architecture and even cool gadgets that Googlers get to use every day. I can see that they love what they do so much. If I worked there, I wouldn't want to leave.”

Alongside Bloch on the panel was fellow Quinnipiac alumna Krista Phillip ’10, a product lead, who shared how nostalgic it was to participate in the event.

“It's been over 13 years since I graduated from Quinnipiac, but this event gave me all the feels,” said Phillip. “As an alumna, I'm proud to know Quinnipiac is setting up events and providing these types of opportunities for its students. I deeply enjoyed getting to meet current Quinnipiac students and answer their questions about Google and careers and was grateful for the opportunity to share what I've learned along the way. This event reinforced that there's a lot of knowledge in a single room and easy conversation can be a powerful tool when it comes to networking.”

Throughout the course of the summer, the students participating in the QU in LA program explored other film studios and networked with other Quinnipiac alumni.

Jenna Westfall ’23 said the university has unlocked so many opportunities for her.

“Quinnipiac allowed many doors to open for me while staying in LA, which includes visiting major film studios such as Universal, Warner Brothers and Paramount Studios,” said Westfall. “I was also fortunate to meet many employees who were Quinnipiac alumni who were affiliated with the film industry and had different and diverse backgrounds.”

Catherine Tallman ’24 said she is already looking forward to returning to Los Angeles after graduating.

“I am forever grateful and indebted to Quinnipiac for allowing me to be a part of this amazing program,” said Tallman. “It gave me the connections and relationships to keep me connected to LA. I have many reasons to go back and continue a career in film.”

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