Experiential Learning at AU SOC L.A. Intensive

May 14-20, 2025
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School of Communication 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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About the Trip

Application Link

Open: Friday, January 12, 2024 9:00am

Close: Monday, October 7, 2024 at 11:59 PM (ET).

The School of Communication, the Career Center and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations invite you to apply for and participate in the 2023 AU SOC L.A. Intensive Program from May 14-20, 2025.

$1,400.00 (not including transportation to and from L.A. and 5 meals). This program cannot be used for academic credit. Scholarships are available on a limited basis and are highly competitive. 

The L.A. Intensive is designed for the rising junior, senior, graduating senior, graduate student, or recent AU alum (either undergraduate or graduates 2023 or 2024) with a focus in the field of entertainment--including television and film--who wants to meet alumni and industry professionals through site visits, meetings, panel discussions, and social events.

By the end of the L.A. Intensive, the participants will have business cards and contacts for future conversations as well as a better understanding of

  • The industry and landscape for work in the field of communication, specifically television and film in L.A. 
  • The opportunities and challenges of working and living in L.A. 
  • How to launch one’s career in L.A. This understanding will be demonstrated in an exit interview at the end of the program.

2023 L.A. Intensive Information

Learn more about the 2023 L.A. Intensive from this informational session with Senior Director of Experiential Learning Sarah Menke-Fish and SOC Career Advisor Felicia Parks.

What Is The L.A. Intensive?

This program is designed for the rising junior, senior, graduating senior, graduate student or recent AU alum with a focus in the field of entertainment.

How to Apply

The L.A. Intensive is competitive. In 2024, 52 students applied and 14 were selected. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

14 students will be selected for the May 14-20, 2025 program. 

This program is open to all American University students, graduates, and recent alums. 

  • Undergraduate students with the completion of 75 undergraduate credit hours 
  • Graduate Students
  • Recent graduates (either undergraduate or graduates 2023, 2024)

Requirements Include:

  • Students who are in good academic and judicial standing or recent graduates with review of student file
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 
  • Completion of 75 undergraduate credit hours 
  • Completion of this application and essay, including the name of an AU faculty member who can be contacted as a reference 
  • Résumé
  • Optional: Samples of work

Upon Acceptance
Acceptance to the program is conditional. There is a series of milestones that must be met before you can officially participate, these include

  • Proof of health insurance 
  • Academic self-audit with SOC Advising Attendance at pre-departure meetings 
  • Clearance of all restrictions to registration 

Applications for the 2024 L.A. Intensive will close on Monday, October 7, 2024 at 11:59 PM (ET).  

Interested students should complete the online application via Qualtrics and be prepared to submit their current resume and a statement of purpose. 

Applicants will be notified of their acceptances by Monday, October 28, 2024.

Application Materials: 

You MUST submit these two (2) documents for your application to be considered. 

1. Resume 

2. Statement of purpose in 600 words or less that: 

  • Lists your name and preferred e-mail address at the top.
  • Gives us an overview of what makes you tick, who you are, and where you're headed. 
  • Describes what you hope to get out of the program and your career goals. 
  • Describes what you have to offer that makes you stand out as someone who will make the most of the experience.
  • Is proofread carefully. 

Applications will be evaluated on the quality of the application materials. Preference will be given to those who demonstrate a career focus and professionalism through the application process. Incomplete or late applications will not be reviewed. Space is limited on the trip, meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance in the program. 

Timeline for those accepted into the AU SOC LA Intensive:

There are some milestones that must be met before you can officially enroll. These include: 

  • Submit a $500 non-refundable deposit (cash, credit, or debit) by December 6, 2024
  • Submit final payment $900 by March 3, 2025
  • Attend the three pre-departure meetings December, February, and April
  • Meet with SOC Advisor, Felicia Parks to review your resume (December-January)
  • Submit your approved resume, short bio, and photo by March 18, 2025.


Call Sarah Menke-Fish, Asst. Professor & Senior Director of Experiential Learning, 202-885-2026

$1,400.00 (not including transportation to and from L.A. and 5 meals)

Deposit of $500 Due December 6, 2024 

Final Payment of $900 Due March 3, 2025

Limited Scholarships Available

This program cannot be used for academic credit. 


Contact Sarah Menke-Fish, Assistant Dean of Experiential Learning at 202-885-2026 or smenke@american.edu.

Learn more

Meet the 2019 Cohort

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Meet the 2018 Cohort

See who attended the L.A. Intensive in 2018!

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Sample Schedules

Wednesday, May 15

12—5:30 p.m.
Students Arrive
6:30—8:30 p.m.
Young alumni @ AU West including Jeff Della Serra, A.J. Berna, and L.A. Intensive 2018 participants

Thursday, May 16

10:30 a.m.—1 p.m.
Site Visit @ CBS with Clyde Kaplan
1—3 p.m.
Lunch at The Grove
6:30 p.m.
Entertainment and Media Alumni Alliance Networking Reception @ the Intercontinental Hotel, Century City, featuring Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Eddie Leavy, Anedra Edwards, and Natalie Sasser.

Friday, May 17

10:00—11:30 a.m.
Danielle Gelber and Amber Glancy @ "AU West"
12—2 p.m.
Lunch and Conversation with Roya Vakili @ "AU West"
12—2 p.m.
Site Visit to Echo Lake Management with Claudia Myers
3 p.m.
Roy Lee @ "AU West"
6 p.m.
Dinner and Conversation with Barry Josephson, hosted by Barry and Brooke Josephson

Saturday, May 18

9:30—11 a.m.
Visit with Liz Kruger and Craig Shapiro, writers for the reboot of Charmed
3—5 p.m.
Conversation with Rob Chiappetta and Michael Menachem @ "AU West"
5 p.m.
Dinner and Presentation with Andrew Greenberger @ "AU West"

Sunday, May 19

All day
Independent/Small Group Student choice day: Universal Studios, Disney, Santa Monica Beach, Getty Museum, Walk of Stars, meet with other contacts, coordinate logistics for staying in L.A. after the Intensive program concludes

Monday, May 20

11 a.m.
Afshin Shahidi @ "AU West"
2—5 p.m
Site Visit @ Nickelodeon Animation Studio
7 p.m.
Adam Goodman @ "AU West"

Tuesday, May 21

10 AM—1 p.m.
Site Visit @ Amblin Studios with Darryl Frank
2—4 p.m.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour
5 p.m.
Site Visit and Dinner @ The CW Network with Mitch Nedick, Dana Bramble, and Anedra Edwards

Wednesday, May 22

Depart L.A.

Wednesday, May 16

12—3:30 PM
Students Arrive
5:30—7 PM
Eddie Leavy @ “AU West”
7—10 PM
Young Alumni Reception and Program @ “AU West”

Thursday, May 17

11 AM—2 PM
Sony site visit
3:30—5:30 PM
Danielle Claman Gelber @ “AU West”
7 PM
Entertainment Media Alumni Alliance
Networking Reception featuring Danielle Claman Gelber, Evan Spiliotopoulos, and James Middleton @ “AU West”

Friday, May 18

9:30—11:30 AM
Barry Josephson @ “AU West”
2:45 PM
L.A. Landmark tour with Bonnie Winings @ Griffith Observatory
Taping of Bill Maher Show @ CBS

Saturday, May 19

Salvation Writers Room visit with Liz Kruger and Craig Shapiro @ CBS
Russell Williams @ “AU West”
Dinner and presentation with Andrew Greenberger @ “AU West”

Sunday, May 20

9—11 AM
James Middleton @ “AU West”
11 AM to Evening
Free Time

Monday, May 21

10 AM
Tour Universal Studios
1—4 PM
Darryl Frank @ Amblin Studios
Universal Theme Park

Tuesday, May 22

Adam Goodman @ “AU West”
Studio tour with Mitch Nedick @ Warner Brothers
Dinner and tour with Mitch Nedick @ The CW Network
9—10 PM
Charlie Wachtel @ “AU West”

Wednesday, May 23

Depart L.A.