Soon to be college graduate planning on moving to California for awhile (Los Angeles: apartment, rent)
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Soon to be college graduate planning on moving to California for awhile
My name is Trey and I am currently a Junior in college here in Texas. I am majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Political Science. I am hoping to move out to California for a few years for a few reasons.
1) I know that it is extremely stressful to try and raise a family in California and I figure my best chance of living out there without wanting to kill myself is while I am young and have less responsibilities.
2) I am looking to go to business school eventually and the best MBA programs require atleast two years of work experience. I figure it would be fun to move out to California and get some of that work experience.
3) I have always wanted to live out in California. I don't want to look back on my life and regret that.
I am really interested in Southern California but mainly because that's the only section of California that I have visited. I really love San Diego and the surrounding areas but Los Angeles attracts me too. I plan on working for the next year while I am still in Texas, so I can save up enough money to have a cushion in the case of any emergencies that may pop up.
Some really important information that may help everyone with this discussion is that my friend of 18 years will be moving out there with me so we will be renting a 2-bedroom instead of just a one bedroom. I am sure that makes it seem a bit less daunting.
All I am asking for is any information that you may find helpful. I have read previous posts on this message board that do help a little but under my situation I am thinking the advice may be a little different. Is there a big demand for people in the public relations sector? I was even looking at teaching high school or something, even though it doesn't make much money. I am assuming it may be able to cover the rent.
I thank everyone for any help they provide. Like a post on a previous thread said, "Where there is a will, there is a way."
I work in public relations and moved to L.A. with about three years of experience. I did get hired at some small agencies, but they were shady and treated their employees like crap (high staff turnaround). Of course, this was in entertainment pr, so maybe other industries are better. Everyone wants to work in ent. pr out there, so it is very competitive and the pay isn't very good. I had much better luck finding good jobs in Miami even.
I would definitely suggest coming here with at least 1 year of solid publicity experience (beyond an internship), and if you have national media contacts that would be even better - a lot of agencies want you to have those even at the assistant level. Also, you will have better luck if you are open to other types of pr besides entertainment. After a few years in the industry, I got so sick of the fake people and working so hard for not much money or appreciation. Try to get into technology or healthcare pr - entertainment publicists are a dime a dozen around here.
If you really want to move to CA, I say go for it. I said the same thing- that I HAD to try it before I had children and lots of responsibilities- and I don't regret it at all. In life, you regret the things that you didn't do more than the things you did do.
I've lived in a few different areas of California, so I thought I might be able to help a bit.
I grew up near Sacramento, not in it, but from what I recall:
Pros: rent is way cheaper than most of the other cities in CA, there's a lot of political stuff going on (since it's the capitol) if you want to use your Poli Sci minor at all
Cons: it's kind of boring, summer can be really hot
Pros: there's a lot going on in the Bay Area, you're right next to San Fran but the rent is cheaper, lots of young people, excellent public transportation (especially BART, the subway) so you could probably make do without a car if money got really tight, rarely really hot or really cold
Cons: you don't really get that "always sunny and warm" California experience
Pros: gorgeous weather, very laid-back, nice beaches, traffic's not too bad, Mexico's really close
Cons: public transportation, not as much to do
Pros: gorgeous weather, nice beaches, lots going on
Cons: traffic sucks, public transportation's not so great, rent is high
If I got to choose somewhere to move right now I'd pick either Berkeley or San Diego. If it's possible I think you should come visit California again before you move, and make sure to visit Northern California. Really, best case scenario you'd find a job before moving here, and at least partly choose where to live based on where you can find the best job. Although if you're cool with just making enough to live while you're here and simply want to have a fun experience, go with whichever city you enjoy the most.
Oh, and in San Diego, you should check out Pacific Beach. I don't know how high rent is, but it's a really fun area with a lot of young people. If I was just looking for a place to kick back for a few years I'd probably move there.
Gypsystar- My professors here have told me that Entertainment PR is pretty cut throat and they say if I really wanted to do that then I might as well get used to being treated as an object rather than a human, so I have never really been turned on to that aspect of PR. Since I am minoring in Poli Sci, I would like to work in something like government or healthcare like you said. My plan is to save up enough money like I said to have a cushion, but I also plan on finding a job before I get out there. I was also looking at maybe teaching high school while I was out there because I have always been interested in teaching and I figure it may be easier to get a job as a teacher due to the shortage of applicants.
So a solid year of work is preferred for most employers out there? That is kind of sobering. Like I said I was planning on moving out there a few months after graduation so I don't know if I would have that experience.
USCMed - First off let me say I love your name. I was looking into attending USC Business after I get a few years of work experience. I appreciate the quick breakdown of cities in California. Like I have said before, I plan on making atleast one more trip out to California. I will def. check out the Sacramento/Berkeley/San Fran areas. I like the appeal of working with Govt. in Sacramento. A big factor I forgot to mention in the whole reason why my friend and I are aiming to move to Southern Cali. is because he has a dream of writing/directing films and I kind of wanted him to be close enough to have a good chance of getting some experience.
I am grateful for all of this information and hopefully there will be more to come from both of you and others. I have another question. How are the people there? Coming from Texas, i am used to very friendly people. Are the people pretty friendly throughout California? Don't worry, I am not a small-town country boy, I am from Houston so I know how big cities are lol.
Thanks about my name. You'll find that most 'SC students are really proud of their school.
Your friend wanting to write or direct films definitely changes things, and if you're seriously considering USC Business it would be nice for you to see if you like LA. Plus there's a chance you might make some connections that'll help you get in.
We definitely need more teachers, but do you know if business schools prefer that you have work experience specifically in business, or does it just matter that you have some sort of work experience? The best areas of LA for your friend are probably Hollywood, Burbank, and Universal City (although I might be wrong - I've got two friends in the industry and one works in Burbank and the other in Hollywood, but that's mostly what I'm basing this comment on, so if someone on here knows of better areas please correct me).
If you guys are able to find a job before you move it'll make things a lot easier. LA is a HUGE city, with horrible traffic, so if you end up living a ways away from where you find a job it'll make life stressful. For example, if he were to find a job in, say, Burbank, and you guys had already rented an apartment in Long Beach, he'd be spending most of his life in the car.
As for the people, I think most of the people I've met in LA are nice. There are a lot more superficial, materialistic people (picture girls with huge designer sunglasses, Ugg boots, skinny jeans, expensive purses, and a snooty look) than I'm used to, but you have people like that in any city. And I'd probably find out they're nice too if I actually talked to them. The people in Northern Cal seem a bit more down-to-earth in general, and less concerned with appearances. If you're a single guy, however, the superficiality/preoccupation with appearance is probably a good thing.
USCMed, as far as I have heard USC Business just wants 2 years of solid work experience in any field. Something that shows you have the discipline to stay focused and something that shows you part of the "real world." The only problem with the whole teaching thing is I would have to get certified and that takes like 2 years. But I am sure California has a program like Texas' where you can get an "emergency certification," where you are allowed to teach before you get your certificate. You just have to start the process of obtaining one within 6 months.
I am still so young that I have so many options in my head that would be ok with me. Like I said, anything in government or PR. There is just something about teaching that attracts me. I want to be like the teachers I remember from high school (even though it was only 3 years ago).
Like I have said before I am saving up right now. My goal is to save atleast $10,000 so I can make the trip out there, pay the rent/deposit, and have that cushion incase I don't have a job by the time I get there. I am a determined person when I find something I really want so if all goes well I will have some sort of job lined up, even if it isn't where I want to be right off the bat. I just want to move out there and live the experience, be able to look back in 30 years and tell my kids stories about living in California for a few years. I may even like it enough to make it a permanent residence, lol.
Oh and I am a single guy but I'm usually not into the whole stereotypical heiress tycoon look. But, if it's part of living the experience then i am all for it lol.
My ex is from Sacramento and if I wasn't so hell bent on leaving Cali altogether, that's where I would go. It's really pretty, very green and totally laid back. Having a Poli Sci background would totally help. The Capitol is always looking for interns. There's always someone looking for PR.
You can find political internships in L.A., too. If you have a Master's Degree you could teach Poli Sci or PR, while you get into the Political scene.
Sacramento seems to be coming up in every conversation I have about moving to California. I will have to check it out when I take a trip out there sometime soon. I like that fact that it's in a political town so I could put my Poli Sci minor to use.
You said the job market is pretty decent in L.A. How is it in San Diego? Sacramento? It doesn't necessarily have to be in government, just in general. I will have a college degree and hopefully some part-time work experience here. I should also have an internship under my belt to help me get a leg up on some of the competition.
I can't tell everyone how much I appreciate the advice I have been hearing from everyone. I know my planned move is still more than a year away but I am just trying to get as much information as I can.
Smart move. You could try to create a network before you get here. Sacramento should be pretty decent job market for a PR person. (I don't know about the other areas.) Reading the Sacramento Bee and the Los Angeles Times (both available online should help you get an idea of what the job climate is. Maybe you can try to get in touch with PR firms here and find a mentor before you move. Maybe one of your professors can help.
I actually worked in PR for about three years before becoming a teacher seven years ago. There are some great PR firms in LA that would probably be interested in you if you have a degree from a reputable school and a good portfolio. Starting pay isn't great, but most firms promote the right person fairly rapidly.
If you want to go to business school, stay away from teaching. It's not the most direct experience and it requires so much work to get certified that you'll be very distracted from your goal. Also, school districts are cutting back severely right now so unless you have a math/science degree or want to teach special ed, you'll have a tough time getting a job.
Some of the major corporations have marketing internship/entry level programs. I'd look towards those as they can be better feeders for B school. I'd also look at the management consulting firms.
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