Photo courtesy: Eicop.org

The HBCU in LA Internship Program is designed specifically for diverse student leaders at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The program provides these students with the unique opportunity to gain access to internships essential for launching and advancing their careers in industries where they have been underrepresented. This initiative is innovative because it is the first of its kind to offer students critical housing in Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta. Also, it provides 10-week internships with some of the world’s largest and most prestigious creative industry organizations, including major studios, networks, and talent agencies.

Selected students will have the chance to gain hands-on experience, make valuable industry connections, and learn from experienced professionals, which will better prepare them for successful careers in their chosen fields.

Kayla Butler, a cohort in this year’s program, shared her thoughts on what to expect and the types of internships she intends to pursue.

“It’s a good program because they pay for your housing, but you still must secure an internship with one of their partner companies. I am looking for a company with a public relations or marketing position because that is my major. Butler said. Once that’s secured, we will get a lot of experience in the entertainment industry.”

The program provides students with a critical connection to the Los Angeles community, allowing them to expand their understanding of the industry and build a strong network of contacts. This connection to the community can be invaluable in launching and advancing a career in the entertainment industry.

Sydney Rencher, a cohort in this year’s program, shared what piqued her interest in the program, an event she’s looking forward to, and offered advice to someone looking to join.

“The networking opportunities, a wide range of internships available, and you get to meet so many different people, the alumni in the program, and the partners. Rencher said. Connections that may seem complicated to obtain by yourself are made possible through HBCU In LA. They help you bridge that gap. If you’re interested, go for it. The sky is the limit. You get many opportunities to meet other students from HBCUs and work with creators who look and sound like you.”

Many students from underrepresented backgrounds gain the opportunity to obtain skills and experience. The program helps to level the playing field and ensure everyone has an equal chance in their chosen career.

Robert Tucker, a cohort in this year’s program, likes how the program provides many opportunities throughout the week.

“They provide different zoom calls, networking opportunities to connect with different individuals who are sponsors and representatives for different companies like Warner Bros, Pixar, and so many other platforms that entertain the world and display some type of camaraderie in entertainment that they do. Tucker said. I talked to different entertainers, actors, activists, and sponsors. Different people who help and propel in our nearby endeavors and futures.”

The HBCU in LA Internship Program is a groundbreaking initiative that provides students with a valuable opportunity to gain essential experience and connections within the entertainment industry. It represents a significant step forward in promoting diversity and inclusivity and should be a model for similar programs.