Goodbye Hollywood, Hello Silicon Valley

Tossing and turning at 3 a.m., riddled with anxiety about post-grad on a Tuesday is no one’s ideal way of losing sleep. Yet that was where I found myself during my final semester as graduation snuck up on me. There I was, hunched over my MacBook, scrolling through LinkedIn, desperately applying to any role even slightly related to public relations.

Because who would’ve thought that my fate rested upon a Buzzfeed quiz I took in high school that decided my college major?

Upon declaring public relations as my major, I decided I wanted to enter the entertainment industry. Being on the red carpet, managing talent, working in the studios the idea of a life in the whirlwind of a business we call Hollywood led me to a university in the heart of Los Angeles.

I spent my first three years in college studying the ins and outs of the film business, touring studios and connecting with writers, directors, entertainment lawyers and moviemakers. It was precisely what everyone expected of a public relations student in L.A. In fact, nearly all my peers had their sights set on film, television or music.

But as I spent more time immersed in the industry, I realized I couldn’t see myself staying. The magic and creativity that first intrigued me faded, replaced with technicalities and monotony.

When I reached junior year, I decided to switch gears and changed my minor from entertainment business to applied analytics and cybersecurity. One Intro to Python class with a professor who had a 5.0 rating on Rate My Professor changed my course forever.

Previously averse to programming, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed taking his class (even if it was on Zoom). While it had once seemed like one of the most daunting things to do, programming became one of my favorite courses. I gravitated towards coding projects and hacking into (albeit already vulnerable) systems over deciphering films and learning about factors that decide whether to greenlight a script.

Still, as much fun as it was, I craved something more creative than writing “for loops” to hash and crack passwords.

As I began my final year of college, I finally settled on merging the worlds of public relations and technology as my career focus. With the guidance of my college professors, I found The Hoffman Agency.

As I begin my internship with The Hoffman Agency, I’m excited to see how my interests collide in the workplace. As my I.T. professors used to say, business executives often don’t see the value in investing millions in something that doesn’t (directly) make them money. I see my future role as a bridge between the technical and non-technical.

Now that I’m adjusting to becoming a morning person after four years of waking up at noon and scheduling only afternoon classes, I spend my time outside of work at the gym, hunting down new restaurants and cafés to try and fuel my pre-existing caffeine addiction.

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