The Penn State Hollywood Program
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Jess Hall

Liberal Arts Major: French and Francophone Studies
Other Major: Public Relations
Hometown: State College, Pennsylvania
Experience Time: Spring 2022

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

This experience was fantastic. I interned five days a week, splitting my time between Mandalay Pictures and The Lede Company. In addition to my internships, I took 12 credits of Penn State classes in Los Angeles, all of which were geared toward the entertainment industry. The classes were General Media/Entertainment Industry, Entertainment Law, and The Art of Comedy.

"This program has shown me the professional paths that really appeal to me: publicity, management, and creative (writing, directing, show running)."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience pushed me academically because I had to balance my academics with working full-time (between the two internships). I have learned so much about the entertainment industry, which I hope to work in after undergrad. The work I have done through my internships also supplements my academic track quite nicely; I gained real-world public relations/publicity experience through my daily tasks at LEDE. At Mandalay, I learned about budgeting films and reading scripts that exposed me to many different forms of storytelling. I also utilized my French degree by considering different markets and how the entertainment industry has cross-cultural implications. Finally, the classes have pushed me academically and given me ideas for my undergraduate honors thesis.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

This experience will greatly impact my career goals. This program has shown me the professional paths that really appeal to me: publicity, management, and creative (writing, directing, show running). This experience has exposed me to the endless opportunities within this industry, as well as the ability to pivot between them. I have a much better vision and scope of the industry because of this program.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

The College of the Liberal Arts has provided enrichment funding to me that I was be able to put toward this experience. I am so grateful to receive this funding, as it allowed me to offset expenses I incurred while out there. 

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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