Pack your bags Bobcats and get ready for sunny southern California.
Quinnipiac University, nestled in Hamden, Conn., has begun a new program where students can spend a semester living and working in Los Angeles, Calif.
The university wanted to expand its academic experiences further than just the classroom while giving students the opportunity to get real world experience at the same time.
“I think a couple years ago the idea was to create an opportunity for students to branch out of their comfort zone – a lot of students have a tendency to go to N.Y. for internships. Quinnipiac felt this could be a good opportunity for students,” said Professor Joseph Catrino, the assistant dean of career services for the School of Communications.
According to Catrino, close to 50 students from the university have applied, approximately 30 of which are students in the School of Communications.
“I think we’ll get about a dozen to 15 students that’ll end up going for the summer which is fine, we want to kind of start off small and let it develop,” said Catrino.
While in Los Angeles, students will pursue a professional internship and earn academic credit. All the students are responsible for obtaining their own internships.
Quinnipiac University in Los Angeles will begin in summer 2014 and students will also have the options of attending the program during the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters.
Catrino explained that students attending the program this summer will not be taking classes, they will only be working at internships.
“During the fall and the spring semesters we’re actually going to teach a couple classes out there and the students will also do online courses through Quinnipiac, taught by Quinnipiac professors. It will all be Quinnipiac credits,” he explained.
Courses such as QU301, business ethics and an entertainment course will be offered as well as classes that relate directly to the student’s majors.
“I believe it’s a great opportunity for communications students because if you want to get into the business, L.A. is the perfect place to do so and to build connections for when the real world comes our way,” said junior film, video and interactive media major, Danielle Berkowitz.
Students who have looked into the program hope it will help them to gain a greater understanding of their chosen field as well as build connections with professionals who could help them in their careers.
“I hope students gain the real-life experience, and get a knowledge and understanding for what their futures will entail, and bring back those skills to Quinnipiac to help them advance as a student as well,” said Berkowitz.
“At the end of the day internships are a vital component to undergraduate studies and I think this is an opportunity to kind of branch outside of the typical N.Y., Conn., Mass., N.J. internship line,” said Catrino. “I think it’ll allow students who are seeking opportunities in the entertainment industry to actually get out there and get some experience and meet some people, so it’s a huge opportunity for our students.”
Senior broadcast journalism major, Nick Colucci, agreed that this was a great program for Quinnipiac to put into place.
“Had this program been introduced before my senior year, I definitely would have jumped at the chance to go. It’s a great opportunity and all students should at least look into it,” he said.
When the idea for this program first came about, it was originally meant for students in the School of Communications. Now it is a program that the entire university can take part in.
“Over time, more of the deans from the others schools heard about it and wanted to get involved so now it’s a university program,” said Catrino.
“I personally believe that this program is perfect for business and communications majors more so than health science and nursing – but if people from those majors were to attend the program then they could at least see what it’s like to live and work in a city like that,” said health sciences major, Stephanie Coe.
Dimitri Restaino is an entrepreneurship major graduating this year. He is staying at Quinnipiac as part of the one-year fast track MBA program and is considering attending the program.
“I have always been interested in LA and I would like to make some good connections while out there,” he said. “I think it would open the minds of students and show them that there are other options for internships than N.Y. and Boston. There is a lot to do out there and it is also really beautiful.”
The program is open to undergraduates and graduate students who have a minimum of 57 credits, a minimum 3.0 GPA and no existing or pending conduct sanctions.
Students will be housed at Oakwood Worldwide temporary apartments.
Applications can be found online on Quinnipiac University’s website. Students must submit all the material required by their specific school and have a Skype interview with the programs director, F. Miguel Valenti.
“I think this is going to be a good program. I think it’s going to experience some growing pains as any new program will and I think it’ll get up and running and going and be strong,” said Catrino.