Southern CA Huskies

UW students explore communications careers in Los Angeles

This spring, eight UW Communication students traveled to Los Angeles to learn about different career paths and expand their professional networks through Career Exploration, a program offered by the UW Department of Communication. From April 9 to 11, participating students met with leading professionals (many of whom are UW Communication alumni) at the Los Angeles Times, Sony Pictures Studios, the University of Southern California and more.

Brie Ripley, a senior studying journalism and anthropology, is one of the students who took part in this year’s trip. She is interested in a career in broadcast news, storytelling and public radio and interviewed her fellow travelers about their experiences. Read—and listen—to her essay.

Career Exploration is one of five programs designed to prepare students for life after college that UW Department of Communication offers under the umbrella of “Career Kickstart.” In addition to serving students, Career Kickstart also functions as a site for UW Communication alumni to learn more and be inspired to give their own careers a boost.

Several Los Angeles-area alumni were integral to the success of the April trip. Producer and writer Pete Chiarelli, ’96, has served as the program’s ambassador since it began and helped to organize this year’s series of visits. In addition to Chiarelli, students met with the following mentors:

Christy Choi, ’13, actor
Peter Clarke, ’58, professor of preventive medicine and communication, University of Southern California
Susan Evans, communication research scientist, University of Southern California
David Horsey, ’76, political cartoonist and columnist, Los Angeles Times
Karen Israel, producer, “Dateline NBC”
Sharon LeeMaster, ’57, public relations and fundraising specialist
Carly Simpson, ’04, producer
Kriss Turner, ’84, producer and writer
Rocio Zamora, associate producer, “Dateline NBC”

To learn more about this program, visit Career Exploration or watch this video, which was produced by our friends in UW Communication:

The Communication department also organizes similar trips to New York as well as day trips to Seattle-based companies. All of the Career Exploration experiences are tailored to students’ interests and questions and are built with the leadership of alumni. To be considered for the travel program, students apply and go through an interview process. Approximately eight students are selected for each trip.


 *Photo (above): Career Exploration students chow down on In-N-Out Burger in the 15-passenger van they commuted in during 48 hours of networking in Los Angeles.