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The Wharton School has organized a trip to Los Angeles this spring break as a "...way for students to get experience with the whole ecosystem."

Credit: Courtesy of Thomas Wolf/Wikimedia Commons

The Wharton School will be organizing a trip to Los Angeles this spring break to prove that value stocks and beat boxing are far from mutually exclusive.

The trip joins a larger Wharton program known as the Wharton Industry Exploration Program, which offers a select group of sophomores and juniors from all four undergraduate schools the opportunity to travel to a place known for expertise in a specific industry or field. Some industries are public policy, in which students travel to Washington D.C., and technology, in which students travel to San Francisco.

The technology San Francisco trip was piloted last year in January 2015 and was replicated in January 2016. It will not take place this spring break in conjunction with the Los Angeles trip.

The Los Angeles trip is designed to expose students to the types of careers available in the creative and entertainment sectors of the economy, particularly the careers that are conducive to a Wharton degree. Each day of the trip, students will attend panel discussions at Paramount Studios focusing on both the corporate and creative side of the entertainment industry. 

Panel topics include “Viacom 101,” “New Media and Virtual Reality” and the music industry, said Lee Kramer, director of Student Life in the Wharton Undergraduate Division. Penn and Wharton alumni will be featured panelists, and Wharton marketing professorDavid Bell will be leading the trip and moderating several of the panels.

The trip will also incorporate visits to Nickelodeon, Disney Accelerator, JibJab (a digital entertainment studio co-founded by a Penn graduate), Lionsgate and the set of the television series "Scandal."

Bell hopes that the trip will expose students to the “really vibrant aspects to the creative economy” that are in Los Angeles. Frequently, he noted, the technological powerhouses eclipse the career opportunities in creative services available in California.

Several of the excursions, however, will showcase the relationship among technology, entrepreneurship and innovation, Kramer said. He said specifically that Disney Accelerator ”encourages people to come up with new technology that Disney could potentially adapt.”

Kramer anticipates that the trip will inspire students to pursue internships in the creative industry just as the San Francisco trip led to many of its participants interning in the technology sector.

Wharton sophomore Kayvon Asemani, a musician and the owner of Kayvon Music, will be attending the trip. He’d like to pursue a career in the entertainment industry following graduation and cites this trip as one of the opportunities that will help him to do that. “Whatever [Penn] doesn’t have between 30th and 40th street … it’s going to find you a way to get to a place that does have it,” he said.

The trip is not entirely based upon experiential learning. Each of the exploration programs are called Wharton 297’s, and each counts as a half-credit course. Participants are expected to complete pre-trip work, which includes reading relevant articles and giving a presentation. Following the trip, students work in groups to write a research paper on one of the elements of the trip.

Bell praised the diversity of opportunities that come with the trip. “It’s a way for students to get experience with the whole ecosystem,” he said.

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