Quinnipiac University

School of Communications Quinnipiac University in Los Angeles

The Quinnipiac University in Los Angeles program gives you the opportunity to live, work and learn in the heart of America’s entertainment industry. Los Angeles is home to the “Big 5” film studios, 10 professional sports franchises, major broadcast news network bureaus — including ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC — and a media market that reaches more than 5 million people daily.

Program Overview

QU in LA students celebrated the end of the Spring 2018 semester with a hike to the Hollywood sign. The views and opportunities while living in LA are endless.

Opportunity from coast to coast

The city of Los Angeles is more than a sunny, sprawling West Coast metropolis; it is an experience unlike any other for students and young professionals in the communications field, and the QU in LA program positions you in the center of that experience.

You’ll immediately begin an internship — chosen before your arrival — that is at once challenging and rewarding, and allows you to learn from veteran professionals and mentors. Through them you gain not only industry knowledge and tangible skills, but access to a strong network in the area.

Outside of work, your growth only continues against the diverse cultural and artistic backdrop of sunny Southern California. The greater Los Angeles area offers a wealth of unique opportunities for cultural enrichment. Activities have included group trips to the J. Paul Getty Museum, USC football games, hiking in Laurel Canyon and outings to famous LA landmarks like the Hollywood sign.

While QU in LA is a fully immersive experience, you are not without a support system. You’ll be housed in one central location with your program peers, and have access to a full-time program director. With a regularly expanding library of contacts at her disposal, the director will put you in touch with all of the personal and professional resources you may need.

Program Spotlight

Brooke Mommsen poses in front of the Ghostbusters car on the set of the movie
Breaking into the business

Brooke Mommsen ’18

Aspiring filmmaker Brooke Mommsen “absolutely loved” her time in the QU in LA program.

In Fall 2016 she did two internships: three days a week at Montecito Pictures, and two days a week at Eclectic Pictures. “I couldn’t believe that not only was I able to work at these companies, but that I was able to do so much,” she says. “I did script coverage, I transcribed notes for film scripts, I made appointments, I called agents, I worked with the casting department. Between the two internships, I probably read more than 70 scripts. I kept showing them that I was ambitious, and they reciprocated by giving me more tasks to do.”

At Montecito, Mommsen was able to develop a close working relationship with producer Ivan Reitman ("Ghostbusters"), who sought her out because she was the only intern who knew how to use the scriptwriting software Final Draft. “I attribute that to the really great education and amazing preparation that I got at QU,” says Mommsen. “Working with Ivan was a very cool experience. He asked me what I thought about the scripts. He took what I said to heart, which is really nice. I loved working there.”

Mommsen says the producers at Montecito invited her to contact them after graduation. “Participating in QU in LA was one of the best decisions of my life.”

After graduating, Mommsen followed her heart and moved to LA in 2018. She is working as a content and platform strategy assistant for Disney.

Partners and Industries

Since the program’s inception in 2014, students have had internships at companies across LA in several disciplines, including script writing, film production, finance, marketing and public relations. Companies where you might one day intern include:

20th Century Fox Ellen Degeneres Show NBC Universal
ABC News Facebook Salon.com
Atlantic Records Fox Network Sony Pictures Entertainment
CBS-TV HBO Entertainment Sports Illustrated
CNN Jimmy Kimmel Live Time Warner
Comedy Central Marvel Studios Universal Music Group
Disney ABC Television Group Miramax Warner Bros.
E! Network MTV Networks (Viacom) Yahoo

The program director is constantly expanding our network with companies in the Los Angeles area. If you are interested in connecting with Quinnipiac and working with our students, email quinla@qu.edu.

“Julianne’s ability to execute an idea that our staff presented to her and create a product that we were proud to use was a major benefit for us. She has a strong familiarity with various design programs and tools and has a creative mind that continues to give us great material.” - Matthew Lerman, Assistant Director of Athletic Media Relations, LMU, Speaking of Julianne Van Gorden '19, Graphic & Interactive Design major

Accommodations

Located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, students reside at LEVEL Furnished Living. Each spacious, air-conditioned suite at LEVEL features a 50" flat-screen cable TV, a sofa and an open air balcony with city views. Students can enjoy the state-of-the-art fitness center, sauna, hot tub, basketball court and more.

Explore LEVEL’s accommodations

LA Success Story

Jacqueline Gallagher works with a camera placed on a tripod
Going all in

Jacqueline Gallagher ’16

Jacqueline Gallagher ’16 was so impressed with the QU in LA program that she enrolled in it twice.

Her first internship, during the Spring 2015 semester, was at the Kennedy Marshall Company, a film production firm. She stayed through the summer of 2015 after landing an internship at Blumhouse Productions. “I really appreciate how the Quinnipiac program has a lot of connections, and they are willing to help you by reaching out to companies,” she says about landing the internships. “It’s really great.”

Both internship experiences were extremely positive. “LA has a reputation of being kind of dog-eat-dog. But all of my internship bosses were so great and so helpful, and I have maintained really close relationships with them,” she says.

In fact, her boss from Blumhouse called Gallagher shortly after she graduated from Quinnipiac with a job offer. The only caveat: it was starting in a few days. “I packed up my life, moved to LA, and started working immediately,” says Gallagher, who is now a casting assistant at Aufiero/Horn Casting. “I love my job.”

Gallagher believes participating in the QU in LA program set her up for success. “I attribute the fact that I was able to pick up and move out here right after graduation, with no real worries or concerns, to the fact that I was in the QU in LA program. The program gives you all the tools to make it possible.”

In Their Words

Shey Killay posing in front of the Television Academy Hall of Fame red carpet

Shey Killay ’21

Film/Advertising Double Major

“Interning at the Television Academy gave me the opportunity to work up close and personal with top talent in the television industry, like those who were honored at the Hall of Fame, while networking with the amazing professionals I get to work with everyday.”

Photo of journalism student Isabelle Agricola at Fox Sports Radio

Isabel Agricola ’21

Journalism

“Working at Fox Sports Radio was one of the best experiences of my life. I got so much hands-on experience working in the sports media world, and I even got to go on air a couple of times! The fact that I was excited to go into work everyday makes me confident that I’m pursing the right industry, and I wouldn’t know that without this internship!”

Linda Vilay writes a message in chalk on a large blackboard

Linda Vilay ’19

Coordinator, Branded Partnerships, AwesomenessTV

“A big part of why I wanted to go to Los Angeles was to experience living in the entertainment capital of the world. I felt there would be a lot of opportunities for me there — and there were. During my semester in LA, I was able to gain experience at two very different places — AwesomenessTV and the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce. I could not have asked for a better overall experience.”

LA Success Story

Kayla DeStephen sitting in a director's chair in front of a green screen
Learning from the legends

Kayla DeStephen ‘18

Kayla DeStephen ’18, an aspiring TV director, spent the Spring 2017 semester in Los Angeles working as an intern at FJ Productions.

“The QU in LA program was one of the main factors I considered when choosing Quinnipiac,” said DeStephen. “I loved the idea of coming to Los Angeles and the fact that I wouldn’t have to come by myself and figure everything out on my own.”

DeStephen worked at FJ Productions five hours a day, five days a week. She shared an office with her boss, Harlan Freedman, a prolific creator and producer of reality TV shows. “I was constantly able to hear his conversations and get involved in everything he was working on,” she said. “He took the time to explain everything to me.”

Admission Requirements

The Quinnipiac University in Los Angeles program isn’t about “getting your feet wet,” it’s about diving into an opportunity to gain experience and exposure in the largest media and entertainment hub on the West Coast.

If you’re ready to make the jump, to bring your East Coast drive out West, we’re with you. What you take back with you will set the pace for your future career.

Requirements

Currently enrolled Quinnipiac juniors and seniors who have maintained a minimum 3.0 GPA become eligible to attend the QU in LA program after their sophomore year. Students have their choice of attending during the spring, summer or fall semesters.

2020-21 Planning

Decisions to send students to Los Angeles will be made on a semester basis and will depend on the latest public health and government recommendations, as well as Quinnipiac’s travel policies.

Spring 2021: We have made the difficult decision to cancel the QU in LA program for Spring 2021. Our utmost concern is student safety, and we feel this is the right choice given the uncertainties that still exist with the pandemic. Students accepted into these cohorts are eligible to defer their QU in LA admission to another term/semester (please note: each student must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and have no conduct sanctions). Students who chose to defer should notify the program director at jennifer.kalaidis@qu.edu.

Summer 2021: The decision on the Summer 2021 program will be made later in the spring.

We’d love to hear from you

If you have questions about the QU in LA program, please contact us by email at jennifer.kalaidis@qu.edu.

View our Spring 2021 Program Guide (PDF)

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