JPCatholic seniors submitted applications for the Los Angeles quarter in the Fall and, after a review of their overall standing with the university, selected students were invited to participate in the LA quarter, where they will finish their undergraduate degree while working internships for various media companies.
The university has a maximum capacity of ten students for the quarter- five men and five women. Julia Carrano, Dean of Students, said, “This year, there were between sixteen and seventeen applications.”
Students are accepted by a committee which reviews each applicant’s overall standing with the University; whether they’d be a good fit in terms of their classes or their healthy drive for internships. According to Julia, the committee includes herself, Nicholas Heye, Registrar, Deb Culbertson, Director for Career Services and Student Success, and several Communication Media professors.
Julia said, “The crucial things are is this a person who’s a good representative of the University…and usually that means strong academics. [It] doesn’t mean you have to have a 4.0, does mean you have to have performed well in your classes, and that you have a clear enough vision of what you want to do.” Deb added, “Between their academics and what we know about them as a person, where they are spiritually, and their GPA, then its decided which students who applied are eligible.”
Once accepted, students pay a five hundred dollar differential to cover extra living costs in LA. They still maintain their space at Latitude 33 Apartments. Deb said, “Instead of them being up there a whole ten weeks, they’re here their first week, so they can get ready with their classes, and they’re back the last week, so that they can get ready for graduation. What’s also new is that they can go back and forth between apartments, where before they didn’t have a place to stay unless they were in LA. They maintain their space in Latitude, if they want to come back for senior projects or friends.”
Deb Culbertson works closely with the accepted students the quarter before by helping to narrow their search for internships in LA. Most of the students are currently in Deb’s Career Services class, in which they actively search for an internship. Julia said, “For a number of reasons, we provide quite a bit of guidance [for internships] and one of the reasons is we’ve determined that students generally do better in internships that are more structured, and that we’ve vetted and approved.” Deb added, “It’s really a joint effort between the university and the students and the employers and some of our [alumni] who are still working up there [in LA] to try to make it [internships] a good fit for everybody.”
It is rare that a student is unable to find an internship. However, Julia says that there is a plan in case a student cannot find an internship or if the internship does not offer substantial work. Julia said, “Students have had to leave an internship mid-quarter and that’s usually because the internship is not providing any substantive work…we’ve been successful in transitioning them into another internship and they just keep going. So, we always have a back-up plan if your internship falls apart.”
Nicholas Willey, senior in Communications Media, recently finalized his internship for the LA quarter with the company Family Theater Productions. He said, “Deb was really helpful. She pointed out Family Theater as a good place to intern, and she has a good relationship with them since several [JPCatholic] students have interned there before. I kept her posted throughout the interview/application process, and she gave me helpful advice on my resume and how to go about communicating with them.”
Julia said, “The plan is to continue it and expand it. There has been talk of expanding it for other quarters.” Deb concluded, “Because it is so new, we’re still making changes and adjustments so that we can serve the students as best we can.”
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