Elon in LA, one of Elon’s Study USA experiences, allows students to explore the city of Los Angeles while continuing to earn credits for their major. Although the program is currently geared toward communications and performing arts majors, Director of Elon in LA Jason McMerty is looking to expand the program.
“We are working with the dean of Elon College of Arts and Sciences to get some of their programs involved,” McMerty said. “We are also working with the business school to offer some classes and tracks for their programs.”
The LA program, which began in 2008 with 20 students, now has around 75 participants each year. According to McMerty, 50% of students who go through the program start their careers in LA, and 43% of graduates remain in the area after five years.
Elon senior Nicole Romeo went on the trip last spring, where she focused on the entertainment industry while completing a management internship. As a cinema and television arts major, she said she feels as though the LA experience is essential for anyone interested in the industry.
“Pursuing a career in entertainment, there’s a good chance that you might end up in LA, so I thought it would be a good way to test out the waters to see if I ever would wind up moving there,” Romeo said.
The added advantage of having an internship built in also attracted her to the program. Every communications major must complete an internship before graduating, and Romeo found her internship search less stressful because of Elon in LA.
“I think it’s really nice to have your internship built into an academic program,” Romeo said. “Being able to say that you had an internship and you had professional experience in LA was awesome.”
The Elon in LA fall program applications are currently open and will close on March 12.