From Hofstra to Hollywood: The Herbert School goes to LA
“It really is about finding something you like doing, that you’re good at, that you wake up every day and say, ‘I am glad to do this,’” said Ben Abrams, a senior radio major. “[Hofstra in LA] gave me a broader field to work on – which I always appreciate. The more stuff you know, the better.”
Abrams was one of the 16 students selected to attend the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication’s annual trip over the winter break to Los Angeles, California. Hofstra in LA is a program that provides students with an opportunity to get a deeper look into the world of journalism and public relations first-hand.
“I wanted to test the West Coast because it is one of the largest markets. I wanted to get to know a different market other than New York. This seemed like a great opportunity,” Abrams said. “I am hoping to be a reporter. I am very interested in reporting in national news, especially in the Western Hemisphere and Latin America.”
Abrams was captured by the educational conversation with those who work within the industry. During his time in LA, one of their stops was the NBC Bureau where he had the chance to meet with current employees.
“I spoke with Gadi Schwartz [an NBC correspondent] and had a really interesting conversation with him. We spoke about the impact of social media in our lives which helped with even more encouragement from him and the people whom I met to just keep pursuing what I want to do in terms of reporting the truth,” Abrams said.
Aside from the opportunity to meet successful journalists, Abrams felt that the city itself enabled him to realize that his journalism career is the most important part of his life, especially when it comes to storytelling. He found that LA carried a flare of its own that could not be ignored.
“It was surprising to me to find yet again how different a city can be structured. I always like to find stories, as a journalist, that are kind of on the ground level of where people live, and LA is a giant collection of towns that have their own vibes, their own personalities [and] their own cultures. I was able to see from afar how diverse a place like LA is, and how interesting it could be to just literally talk to someone while there,” Abrams said.
Abrams, though captivated by a city so unfamiliar, found that the highlight of the trip was neither a location nor a meeting but actually those who accompanied him.
“One of the things our professors said on the trip is [that] some of the most important connections you make in the industry are right now, while you’re in college. I had a great group of people who were on the trip with me,” Abrams said. “We talked about our experiences in a way that really made sense to me, and I think those connections that I made are going to be so important.”
Los Angeles provided assurance for Abrams in terms of his career goals, but it also granted an opportunity for making strong connections with those whom he may work with in the future.
“I want to be a serious journalist, and whatever [the industry] throws my way I think I’m ready for it. I am willing to take on the task of going through the mud and grind that is being a journalist.”
A previous version of this article stated that Ben Abrams is a journalism major. This statement is incorrect and has since been updated.