Students at Delaware State University discovered different pathways to opportunities and success in the film industry where they met with some of the executives from the Entertainment Industry College Outreach program ( EICOP) about HBCU LA.
In 2017 under the Obama administration , EICOP joined with the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and launched their signature program, HBCU in LA.
This program, which is a LA-based initiative, is designed to provide HBCU students the chance to participate and collaborate in a 10-week internship with different major studios, networks , talent agencies and other creatives. The program focuses on three major components. One being Internships – HBCU in LA partners with industry organizations who pledge to provide paid internship experiences to deserving students. Mentorship – students get the chance to meet some of the most successful leaders working in the industry today. Training + Development – during the program students receive lectures on the creative and entrepreneurial aspects of the industry. Students also receive career coaching, networking opportunities and also expand on their interview skills and the mores.
Stacy Milner, founder of HBCU in LA stated “Our internship program has experienced phenomenal growth. In the past five years there have been over 12,500 students to apply to the program, over 50 HBCUs are now participating and 90 percent of students who are eligible for full time employment after graduation are securing positions in the industry.”Annually, partners of EICOP visit HBCUs and other predominantly minority-serving institutions with hopes of bringing its educational career sessions and recruitment opportunities to students and faculty.
One of the many unique aspects of the internship program is the HBCU Student Showcase which gives interns the ability to collaborate and create content from pitches to market-ready products which are presented to industry executives during the closing program.From student writers, directors, actors, etc., interns have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and develop relationships with some of Hollywood’s leading firms.
A senior, visual communications and digital media arts major, Erica Waddy, reviewed scripts with senior managers at her internship with AMC Networks. “I still talk to my manager today,” she said. “ You have to take a chance on yourself to become an intern and be open to the opportunity. It’s a phenomenal program!”
Milner said EICOP plans on expanding their tours to even more HBCUs and getting the word out, so that more and more HBCU students take this opportunity and apply to this wonderful program. “We’re evolving with the industry and providing internships in gaming technology through a partnership with Activision.”