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Old 08-03-2009, 08:03 PM
 
24 posts, read 36,682 times
Reputation: 13

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Hey Guys,

So I've browsed the forums quite a bit, and read up a lot of insightful comments and learnt so much about the city.

First up, I'm a 20 year old Asian guy from Singapore, and am planning to study in the united states. The reason why I'm inclined to California and Los Angeles, is because, of my girlfriend who was raised in San Bernadino. She's told me so much about the states, that drew sparks of interest, enough for me to switch from initial plans of pursuing education in Australia to switch over to the USA.

Unfortunately, a wrench was thrown into plans because over the summer, her parents threw her into boarding school and we have had no contact ever since. So I'm pretty much on my own now.

I am currently doing a degree in communications, and am aiming to do my masters in 2010.

I've seived out a few potential schools to pursue my masters, Loyola Marymount, Azusa Pacific, and also USC. I actually like the more-community based and tight-knit kind of school, where everyone knows everyone, and people live like family.

I plan to stay on and eventually try to get permanent residence status in the United States.

The reason why I picked LA, is because I am a musician, and while I've read so much about how tons try to chase the dream in LA, few make it, I still would like to give things a chance with music, of course, at the sidelines while I'm pursuing education and eventually, a full-time career.

Also, I want to experience a whole different culture, and meet people. However, while I am often display an extroverted facade, I am an introvert, dont really like superficiality or moral-decadence, and enjoy the company of loyal and sincere people.

But still, I am adventurous, and often described to be fun-loving and free-spirited.

So question wise, from the universities, I've listed, location-wise, which would be the most ideal?

And about the life, honestly, do u think that I would be able to fit in well, and actually enjoy life there in LA?

Also, if the music thing fails, holding a masters degree, would finding a job that pays enough to live comfortable be much of a hassle?

While I am seeking also, to be reunited with my girlfriend, if that doesn't work out, I do hope to someday settle down in America with an American woman!

Hope some people out there can give me a dose of reality to help me with my decision here!

thanks!

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 08-06-2009 at 03:26 PM.. Reason: No self-promotion
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:46 AM
 
1,158 posts, read 3,438,082 times
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First, if you're a musician, do you have a You Tube video? I'd like to evaluate what your talent level is (and I hope you can take constructive criticism). If you really want to make it as a muso you really have to go for it and need a lot of nerve, hustle and product that can make money. Introversion isn't going to be your friend from that standpoint. L.A. is also the home of Musicians Institute as well as major universities with outstanding music programs, so the competition is incredibly fierce. You can't just land there and improvise. You have to have a definite plan, especially since it is expensive as heck to live there.

A communications degree? Unless you plan to get into public relations or the media (which is laying people off left and right), I don't really see any demand for that degree in CA right now. The only value to it is that you might be able to use some of the things you learned in those courses to sell yourself as a musician, perhaps.

Nonetheless, USC might be the best place to network with that degree. You might also think about skipping the Masters program in communications and going to law school with a focus on entertainment or copyright law if you want to be close to the music business.
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:02 AM
 
24 posts, read 36,682 times
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well I might not do a masters in communications. More of an MBA actually. And I have about 2 years experience as a broadcast Journalist for the national newspaper and also the military's online webcast and 4 years experience as a freelance writer for lifestyle magazines. will that be any good in landing a a job after completion of my degree?

Ultimately, I do hope to stay on in the country.

yea I do happen to have youtube videos actually.

sorry i dont know how to make the youtube videos show properly! but u can copy the links, and yes, criticism is welcomed
about introvertness, I'm not socially inept, in fact, I would say I'm quite capable interms of making friends and making people feel comfortable, but I just enjoy being alone with close friends, and am not a fan of hanging arnd loads of people trying to be popular a lot of the time!

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 08-06-2009 at 03:26 PM.. Reason: No self promotion -- you can DM the links if anyone is interested.
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:42 AM
 
1,158 posts, read 3,438,082 times
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You should have been more explicit about your experiences and skill set. You will still need to clear immigration hurdles, though, to work in the U.S. There is a lot of Asian-American media in L.A., so you should start trying to network that first and then move on from there. Again, I think USC is the way to go (or UCLA). You seem to have employable skills. So it will just be up to how much you want to hustle in a bad economy where even a major paper like the L.A. Times is struggling. The Asian community in L.A. is also very wealthy as a whole, so if you have some innovative idea to cut out a unique niche this might be the time to go for it since that Asian money is no longer being poured into real estate.

An MBA isn't a bad idea per se, but there are now so many of them that you practically can't turn around without bumping into one. So I really think law school is something you should seriously entertain. A lot of the heads of major entertainment companies started in their firms' legal departments. But do what's right for you. I'm sure others on this board will have a different opinion from me.

As for your guitar playing, you've passed the audition. Now do you have any original material that is marketable?

Good luck.
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:59 AM
 
24 posts, read 36,682 times
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Hey thanks for replying, I appreciate it.

Well I wouldn't look at law school simply because it the judiciary system is different from commonwealth countries, so if I get kicked out of the states, I would not be able to do very much with my legal education back here in Singapore.

So you mean to say, that finding employment wouldn't be as arduous as most have been saying in other threads? I'm quite willing to plough the recession out though, as I have other means of income.
Could you help me out by naming some of these news agencies that you reckon I could stand a chance at a job with though? Thanks a lot for this.

Just curious though, based on my description of myself, and also what I seek for a state/city of residence and to pursue my education, are there any other areas I should consider? I like a tight knit community kind of living, where people are nice, but I could never quite live without excitement.

USC sounds like a great school, but a friend of my who just came back today, said the area is quite dangerous? She didn't elaborate aside from telling me she heard gunshots and gang slains there.

Is layola marymount any good? That is currently at the top of my choice for schools to do my masters.

thanks!
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:02 AM
 
24 posts, read 36,682 times
Reputation: 13
Anyone else can help me out here?

Need a few more views to get things balanced out
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:18 AM
 
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I wish I could help more. I will say this, if you are interested in an MBA, USC is the way to go. It is important to get an MBA from a top-tiered school. LMU is pretty good for its part time program but does not have the recognition and networking of USC.

The neighborhood adjacent to USC is fairly safe as it is well patrolled. South of USC is not all that great a neighborhood. Downtown (just north of USC) is an OK place to live. LMU is in a better neighborhood.
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:22 AM
 
24 posts, read 36,682 times
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I'm just curious, why is it that the LMU part time program seems to be getting more accolades than the full-time program? Shouldn't the curriculum be similar?

Also, by recognition and networking, sorry to be so inquisitive, but specifically, what can USC offer over LMU in terms of a masters program?

I just saw the fees for USC, and wow, they really cost a LOT! haha. I'm just thinking if I should spend all that extra cash going to USC instead of LMU or APU.

What do u think of APU? (azusa pacific)
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:51 AM
 
1,465 posts, read 4,665,034 times
Reputation: 852
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaNinja View Post
I'm just curious, why is it that the LMU part time program seems to be getting more accolades than the full-time program? Shouldn't the curriculum be similar?

Also, by recognition and networking, sorry to be so inquisitive, but specifically, what can USC offer over LMU in terms of a masters program?

I just saw the fees for USC, and wow, they really cost a LOT! haha. I'm just thinking if I should spend all that extra cash going to USC instead of LMU or APU.

What do u think of APU? (azusa pacific)
I have no knowledge of APU

MBAs, even more so now that everyone seems to be getting them, are recognized by the ranking of the school giving them. It is similar to a law degree, in that the university issuing the degree will come into play throughout your career. There aren't many that can actually establish the the education is any better at the top-tiered schools but it is much tougher to get accepted so they are given additional respect because of that.

For MBAs in California, there are 4, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and USC. The latter 2 being in Southern California.

The networking refers to the good ol' boys club. Once graduated, a USC MBA alumnus will help another USC MBA alumnus. UCLA, not so much. The network is particularly strong on the west coast. If you intended to move to the east coast following graduation, the networking aspect is not as important.

But, please don't take my word for it, this is much too important a decision for you. But do research the differences between MBAs.
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:29 PM
 
1,398 posts, read 6,200,281 times
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A student visa gets you in the country and legal for its duration, so the college idea should be pursued. If you can afford and/or get into the best ones here, UCLA or USC, go for it. Otherwise, the others should be considered second choices.

Your student tenure here should give you a goodly amount of time to adjust to life in L.A., which is a tad different from other large American cities. (We have 11% unemployment, for instance, and up to 20% of the population neither speaks nor understands what statisticians refer to as "functional English," based upon half of the 40% foreign born demographic here.)

My next two suggestions come from my own employ in the entertainment business (photographer) and from observations from my husband's brother who lived for years in Singapore. You are going to be VERY surprised at the level of crime here, and you'll have to develop what we call street smarts pretty quickly. Singapore has strict law enforcement in its core values and in practice. This is not true here.

No, it's not 24-hour gang shootouts like you see in our movies, but it's not as safe as other mega-cities in the U.S.A., wherein their crime is largely restricted to obvious-looking ghettos. L.A. is very, very spread out and very intermingled in its populations, where gang areas abut rich areas. People who may not resemble a stereotypical criminal to you could be looking for someone who looks, to them, like a tourist to rob, which is to say you. L.A.'s crowdedness will seem familiar to a Singapore dweller, though. Only the residential sections of the richest West side areas aren't.

Secondly. never show the first video again--no matter how good you think your licks are, it looks amateurish to people in the biz. Show the second with confidence- it demonstrates your professional ability to play in a group and fit in someone else's situation, team player, y'know. L.A. is an excellent place to network for music biz contacts. Try to live in Burbank, Studio City, Loz Feliz or some parts of Hollywood for additional shmoozing. Good luck.
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