Day Five


By: Kat Holm

Today, we became real L.A. tourists. We began the day at the famous Santa Monica Pier. I’ve been to the pier before, so I was immediately drawn to the rollercoaster ride because I know that they always let you ride it twice. Connie really enjoyed the ride, and we waved to everyone from the top of the hill. We also tried out some of the carnival games on the pier. I have the worst luck with the carnival games, but this time, I won a flamingo plushie with Connie. For lunch, we split off from the group and tried out a new restaurant: Hummus Bar Express. I was disappointed because my favorite sushi restaurant in Santa Monica had closed a few months ago, and there was nowhere else I could find that sold sushi burritos like theirs. It ended up being a good decision trying something new because the chicken shawarma was delicious.

Later in the day, we set out for Griffith Park which as a big “La La Land” fan, I was really looking forward to seeing it for the first time in real life. Jess and I decided to view the planetarium show, and I was ready to immerse myself in the scene with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, waltzing through the stars. This was the point where I started to feel homesick. I’m not the type of person to get homesick easily, but for some reason, looking up at the stars reminded me of home and how much I missed everyone. This is one of my biggest fears when I think about moving to the west coast. When the show ended and we walked back out into the bright L.A. sunlight, I began to feel better, knowing that even though it’s evitable that I’ll miss people, L.A. is the place I want to be.

A ride full of fun

By: Connie Castilla

As a big amusement park person, I was so looking forward to our trip to Santa Monica Pier today. It was amusing to see how they are able to have a huge ferris wheel, a roller coaster and seven to 10 other carnival games in such a limited space. I haven’t gone on a roller coaster in God knows how long, so I was super excited to go. Let me tell you, it was totally worth it! My friends Kat and Jared went with me, and they can testify how hard I screamed – good screams, though.

Before doing that, I had to play some traditional carnival games. I went to the “cat rack” first. I consider myself good at throwing balls- thanks to my short and unknown softball career at high school. Kat was filming something I thought would be a lasting record of big triumph; however, it turned out to be the opposite, and I left without the stuffed elephant I wanted. Then, my other two friends convinced me I would do better at the ring toss. I was getting 30 rings –yes 30 rings- to toss, my chances of winning seemed greater. Yeah well, no. Ten minutes later, I had no rings and no prizes, but I didn’t let those failures crush my spirit. Determined to get a prize no matter what, I chose a different game: the “balloon bust.” Again, I had to throw balls, but these were heavier and more stable, so I could have more chances to win. Just like a confident pitcher preps for a game, I threw the three balls, bursting the balloons. I had done it, and would always remember this victory by looking at the three stuffed little flamingos I got as trophies. 

I also need to talk about the Griffith Observatory. There, we enjoyed learning about the planets, the moon and famous astronomers. We saw a breathtaking view of L.A. with the Hollywood sign in the background and also saw a show in the planetarium about water. 

Overall, a great day of fun and bonding with my friends!

P.S. If you were wondering, I didn’t get lost this time.


By: Daniella Colletti

A tourist-filled day in sunny Los Angeles began with the breathtaking Santa Monica Pier. We walked down the pier to begin the trip with taking tons of pictures overlooking the beach. Once we were done, the ferris wheel opened and we all bought our tickets to take the ride. Overlooking the sights at the top of the ferris wheel, I had to sink in the moment and think to myself, “I can’t believe I’m really here.” We were able to play some games after, where I won my favorite animal, a stuffed Siberian husky!  Concluding our time at the pier, we hit a delicious California taco spot before hopping back on the bus to the Griffith Observatory.

We ended the night with a panel of some incredible, recent Hofstra graduates. Because they all recently graduated, they were able to give us a lot of relatable advice about moving to L.A. from NYC. I took Peyton Muse’s words into great consideration regarding what she said about not being afraid to take that leap of faith and move to L.A. I’ve always considered moving to L.A. after working my job in NYC for a few years, but I never knew how I’d make the transition. Listening to her advice made me feel more confident about eventually moving to this amazing city someday when I’m older (and have time to save some money!).

Reaching new heights

By: Paula Chirinos

After overcoming my fear of heights during the plane ride to get to Los Angeles and climbing the hills to get to the holiday sign, I thought that I was done with my experience of dealing with severe altitudes. Little did I know that I would have to be up high two more times on this trip. 

While my classmates and I were at the Santa Monica pier, we all decided to ride the tall ferris wheel in order to get a good view of the surrounding area. After being consoled by Dr. Gershon, I built up the courage to hop onto the ride and was lucky enough to get some great photos while I was at the very top, thanks to the very talented photographer, Jessica. After the ride, part of the group left to go closer to the beach area, and Kat, Jessica and I headed towards the Santa Monica 3rd Street Promenade to eat some Mediterranean grill and visit an English candy shop. 

Our group reached new heights by visiting the Griffith Observatory, where I was able to get a great view of the Hollywood sign (which I went through the challenge of climbing to get to yesterday). I was excited to see some of the astronomy exhibits inside and learn new facts about the universe. The biggest exhibit housed a large telescope that stretched up to the ceiling of the dome it was in. When I was a little girl, I wanted to grow up to be an astronomer so this experience made me lovingly reminisce on my past dreams.  

Shoot for the stars…land amongst fellow alumni

By: Jessica Zagacki

Today we went to the Santa Monica Pier. After walking around for awhile and taking some photos of the boardwalk, the ocean, and the mountains, I got my ticket to ride the ferris wheel because how could I not ride the ferris wheel? The view from the top was beautiful. 

After exploring the area some more and grabbing a delicious lunch at Hummus Bar Express, we were off to visit the Griffith Observatory. Not only was the architecture of the building really beautiful, but I was also really interested in what was inside the observatory. Fun fact: I absolutely love space, the moon, the stars, you name it. I’ve always found it all to be extremely fascinating. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I also love planetariums. I haven’t been to one in years, so I was very excited to watch a show at the observatory. It was stunning to stare up at the stars and I felt like I was in another world.

The last major part of our Sunday in L.A. was our second alumni panel back at Emerson. In contrast to our first alumni panel that consisted of several Hofstra graduates who have been out working in the field for several years now, this panel consisted of several recent graduates. It was interesting and beneficial to hear from more recent graduates; since they were in our position not too long ago, they could pass on relatable advice to all of us. Ultimately, I loved hearing from both perspectives and from Hofstra alumni from all walks of life who are working in the entertainment industry. It only goes to prove that it really is a small world, especially for those working in the entertainment industry. It is inspiring that so many Hofstra alumni are living and working out in the L.A. area, all over the country, and all over the world. Therefore, whether I wind up moving to L.A. at some point after graduation or not, it’s reassuring to know that a fellow Hofstra alum and connection is never too far away.

Learning to ride this journalistic wave

By: Penelope Lopez

According to, waves are a disturbance on the surface of a liquid body, as the sea or a lake, in the form of a moving ridge or swell. Today, we started off the day visiting Santa Monica pier where we were able to actually see waves crashing down and repeat this motion several times. Not only was it relaxing being surrounded by exquisite nature, it allowed me the opportunity to sit back and think of my career plans. Here, I contemplated my entire life path while looking at the beautiful blue sea. Without a doubt, I knew that I was overwhelming myself with the many different directions I could take post-grad and I knew I needed to take a breather before I crash on this journalistic wave I am riding. Nonetheless, I knew that it was essential to calm down, trust the process, and pay close attention to the advice given at the alumni panel. 

After attending the young alumni panel, I discovered the many challenges and honest/brutal hardships one goes through in L.A that slightly shifted my perspective in wanting to move to this city. Without a doubt, I appreciated the raw and genuine stories of the panelists, but it did make me anxious about what my career path may look like after receiving my diploma and moving to L.A. On one hand, I learned that there is no straight, narrow path and that it is the ugly yet pretty part of this industry. On another hand, I discovered through this panel that it is important to challenge yourself and remain true to who you are despite the disingenuous people in L.A. I figure that this is all a part of the process and that I need to take a step back and reevaluate my career path with an advisor or mentor. Furthermore, it’s fair to say that I am not the best surfer and that clearly the waters on the west coast are extremely windy, but that will never stop me from achieving any of my goals. Thus, I plan to write some new goals down and decipher ways in which I can overcome them and effectively ride this journalistic wave without drowning. 

There’s no right answer

By: Emmeline Blaner

After a few days learning from many professionals about the different kinds of jobs they have, it was refreshing to learn from our young alumni panel about how to actually get from New York City to L.A. Tonight’s panel included alumni who have graduated in more recent years, from 2009 to 2019, offering us a fresh perspective on what it’s like to start your career on the opposite coast from Hofstra. The panelists had a range of experiences, from hopping onto a plane with a job secured the moment they graduated to making it out to L.A. with a couple bucks in their bank account and a desire to do whatever it took to make ends meet. It was reassuring to know that there’s no correct way to succeed in transitioning to the West Coast and that it’s okay if things don’t go as planned.

One of the topics covered was how to make ends meet in the city, where we learned about the variety of jobs one can have while they search for the right job. The panelists suggested temp agencies, Facebook groups and other social media resources, freelancing, and background acting, all things I would have never thought of. Some pieces of advice that stood out to me were to speak up for yourself, always keep learning the industry, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and start applying as soon as possible. I’ve gotten such a large range of advice as to when to start applying for jobs, and the general consensus from this group of panelists was that it never hurts to start early. Even if it’s too early for a company to fill a position, the experience of interviewing and getting your name in their heads will still be beneficial. 

This panel was very helpful, and has me eager and excited to start searching for the perfect opportunity.

A beautiful day at the pier

By: Julia Farella

Sunday was the most relaxed day that we’ve had on our trip thus far. Our first stop was at the Santa Monica Pier. As a native from New Jersey, I love taking trips down to the shore during the summer. I’ve always wanted to see what L.A. beaches looked like and it is beautiful. Street performers and artists lined the pier and there were tons of games and rides for us to enjoy. The first thing that we did as a group was ride the ferris wheel together. And if you thought the beach was pretty before, then it was an absolutely beautiful view from the top of the ferris wheel. After the ride, we all went and played a couple of arcade games to win some stuffed animals. A few people were able to win their stuffed animal of choice and I was able to win a bee I named Beatrice. The whole morning on the pier was a peaceful way to begin the morning while experiencing something new about California. The next stop of the day was visiting the Griffith Observatory. My favorite part of this location was the show we saw in the Planetarium. I have always enjoyed science class when I was in high school, so being a part of an immersive experience with beautiful visuals was a great time.

Tonight, we had a panel with recent alumni of Hofstra where they gave us advice about starting off in the industry. This was something that I was looking forward to as I have been considering moving to Los Angeles post-graduation. Everyone on the panel was extremely honest about starting their careers and moving out to Los Angeles and — not going to lie — it kind of scared me. I knew moving out on my own would be hard but there were so many factors that I haven’t considered like apartment hunting and building a network. But they were also extremely nice and were willing to offer help to any of us that asked for it whether it was advice or connections. While this panel as opened my eyes to the struggles of moving out to Los Angeles, it hasn’t scared me away from the city yet. Now, I am going to do more research and start writing down a list of goals that will get me at a secure place to move to any new city and begin my career.

Sunday in L.A.

By: Jared Brown

Today’s adventure began at the famous Santa Monica pier. Not only was this a great spot to take pictures, but I went on a few rides. First, I went on the ferris wheel, and I was blown away by the view. Soon after, I went on the roller coaster, and it was enjoyable. The best part was that there was no line, and the ride operator allowed us to go twice. I played a couple of carnival games, and then we headed to an area on the beach with swigs and a rope to climb. I climbed the rope and enjoyed the breeze on the swing; I felt like a kid again. 

We hopped on the bus soon after a great lunch near the pier and headed over to the Griffith Observatory. Here, there is an array of science-related displays and a massive planetarium. Luckily, there was a $5 student option for the planetarium show, “Water is Life,” and most of the group attended. The video was very informative about stars, and it discussed the earth, planets, and their moons. 

At night, we were lucky enough to witness a panel of recent Hofstra graduates who are out here in L.A. With a slice of pizza in one hand and a pen in another, I listened to the wisdom of these recent grads. Considering that I will be in their shoes in a few months, they made me feel less nervous about the “real-world.” One regret the graduates had was that they stressed themselves all of their senior-year about job plans. After learning about that, I made a promise to myself not to stress as they did. I am excited for tomorrow because we are meeting with more industry professionals to kick off this upcoming networking week.

Another day of sun

By: Kathryn Harley

Today we had another fun-filled day of checking out everything that Los Angeles has to offer. We started out by heading to the Santa Monica Pier, where we rode the ferris wheel, took pictures, and had some fun playing in the sand. Though I’m not much of a beach person myself, I had an amazing time with everyone!

Next stop was the Griffith Observatory, a staple in L.A. that I missed on my last visit. I’m a bit of a nerd for space, so to say I was excited is an understatement. The views from the observatory were phenomenal and the planetarium was even more impressive. It was great to spend more free time with everyone on this trip, and as each day passes, I feel everyone becoming closer and having even more fun!

To close out the day, we hosted another panel with our alumni here at Emerson’s campus. This panel provided extremely helpful insight on what it’s like to live here in L.A. so soon post-grad. Though all of the panelists were extraordinary, I loved speaking with Rachel Geller, a coordinator for awards and film festivals at Showtime Networks. We discussed the different avenues one could pursue within the sphere of public relations and how each of them differentiated from one another. Rachel also provided great advice and suggestions of different internship programs which I appreciated immensely considering I’m always searching for new opportunities. Overall, we had yet another a fun-filled and insightful day here on the West Coast. I can’t wait to see what adventures tomorrow brings!

The one where we visit (Santa) Monica

By: Marissa Santorelli

What. A. Day. This morning we all convened around 9:30 a.m. to go to the Santa Monica Pier. We arrived and immediately walked to the end of the pier to take photos with the entire group, while encountering some strange characters along the way. After wandering aimlessly for a bit, the mini amusement park on the pier opened, and we all rode the ferris wheel together. The ride operated directly above the ocean, so the view was breathtaking. We then played amusement park games, including multiple winners and the adoption of a few stuffed animals. I have a love for raccoons, so I won myself a raccoon stuffed animal! We all then traveled together to get lunch, followed by a few daredevils of the group attempting to ride Lyft scooters. Finally we all boarded the bus and headed over to the Griffith Observatory.

At the Griffith Observatory, there was an incredible view of Los Angeles. You could see the Hollywood sign, mountains and the terrain, it was all so gorgeous. We then went inside the observatory, learned about stars and planets, and attended a planetarium exhibition titled “Water is Life.” There we all sat in a dome and viewed a video display directly above us. The presentation was amazing, except for when they showed whales in the ocean (I have a debilitating fear of whales). Once it was over, we stopped at the gift shop and then boarded our bus to head back to Emerson.

It was an exciting day, and we finished out day with pizza and an alumni panel, but, this time, with recently graduated alumni. They all spoke about their big moves to L.A. and the transition from graduation to the real world. It was an amazing panel! One of the best quotes I heard all night about the industry was, “Be as innocent as a dove and as shrewd as a snake.” Inspiring.

Recent grads are rad

By: Michael Valentino

We just finished our panel with the recent graduates, and it was one of the most beneficial sessions yet. Having the opportunity to talk to other young, passionate people forging their way in the industry was not only refreshing but very inspiring. They were in our shoes not so long ago, some literally last year, and to see that they made the move to L.A. and are also thriving, was so great.

They provided all of us with really great advice on creating paths in the entertainment industry, being very transparent about things that we might run into in the workplace, and if we choose to make the move to L.A. Although some of their stories were a little daunting, the overall consensus was that as long as we hustle and truly work hard, we could make it here.

This conversation really opened my eyes to some things that I hadn’t considered previously and really made me reconsider different career paths within the industry, as well as even the industry itself. One of the alums, Mike Lawson, made the transition into tech and has found a lot of learning growth and success. It has made me start considering tech as a possible, alternative pathway to explore. 

Overall, today’s panel was absolutely fantastic, and it was really great seeing my old friend Payton Muse on the panel. She shared her experience about realizing that entertainment news was no longer something she wanted to pursue. She proved to all of us that we don’t have to be stuck in one area, and that it is never too late to change our paths. Just two short years ago, she was mentoring me at school and to see all that she has accomplished since then was a great way to end a great day. 

Hey you! Disa-pier!

By: Joe Unda

The 12th of January was yet another free day in Los Angeles, and one that came with some of the best weather yet. I packed my jacket into my bag, hoping I wouldn’t have to put it to use, and I certainly got my wish, as the sun provided us with the best possible conditions for today’s adventure to Santa Monica. 

We walked the famous pier, taking in the color and sounds of the shops, cafes, semi-professional street magicians, and gazing out into the endless Pacific Ocean. There really is something so special about the pier, a certain positive, inviting energy that seems to just bring people together – an energy I could certainly get used to. 

Settling back in at Emerson, we were joined by another alumni panel that I feel personally had a huge impact on me. The incredibly talented group of alumni in this panel were recent graduates of Hofstra within the last 10-12 years, most recently, this past spring. A specific word that comes to mind when hearing these people’s stories is comfort. Hearing how they got to L.A. and where they are in their early careers truly is reassuring. Knowing that it’s okay if things don’t always go exactly how you plan, and that the road can get quite tough, but in the end, you will somehow find your way, regardless. This was a common theme and something I really needed to hear. The more I hear about how open and willing alumni are to helping other Hofstra students in this wild business of entertainment, the more I hope I can be that for somebody in the future.

Halfway through. Let’s do this, day six.  

Career realizations

By: Heather Konefsky

Today was the fifth day in Los Angeles, and it was mainly a free day. We started off the day at the Santa Monica Pier. It was so weird going to a beach in the middle of January. I don’t typically take vacations, so I’m always freezing during this time of the year. This was just another reminder of how different L.A. is from back home. Going on the ferris wheel gave us a great view of the beach and surrounding area. The water looked so clean and blue compared to the beaches in New York and New Jersey. I even saw a seal for what I think is the first time. 

Later in the evening, we had another alumni panel, but this one was with more recent graduates. Since coming on this trip, I’ve been trying to decide if L.A. is somewhere I could potentially live in the future. Everyone so far has said they love it here, but the panel tonight showed a different side to that. I realized how hard the transition could be to move across the country. After speaking with a few people, I realized I could not move out here, without already having a job lined up. I still think I want to end up out here, but I’m beginning to realize with my personality type, I need a very calculated plan before I could make a decision like that. The panel also showed me I need to do some more research into different opportunities and try out a few more things. I never considered entertainment news, but in the past few days, I have met a lot of people who are working in it. I originally thought I would be happy doing anything in television, but tonight I heard one alumni saying she did not get the same feeling working in entertainment news as she did working on other stories in school. That made me realize I need to try out a few more things before going into the professional world.

Every day here I’m learning new things about this industry and about myself. I can’t wait to get back to working in a studio.

Monochrome views

By: Aliyah Dinkins

As I previewed in my prior blog post, the gang and I traveled to the Santa Monica Pier to spend a couple hours there. I took that opportunity to shoot some photos and videos to contribute to some of my side passion projects. This felt very good because last semester, I was extremely busy with my internship, job, being the president of my dance team, and taking 17 credits. As a result, my camera was collecting dust. As the weeks rolled by, I would tell myself, “This weekend I’m going to take some photos” or “I’m going to develop that music video adaptation that I’ve been daydreaming about,” none of which actually came to fruition. With that being said, as soon as we arrived at the pier and I saw the sun sparkling on the ocean, I immediately felt inspired. So, I popped in my head phones, played Daniel Ceaser’s new album, manually changed my camera setting to monochrome, and began my creative process. Although I could have ridden rides, mingled with my peers, or even done extra sight-seeing, something was pulling me towards taking some time for myself. During one of our recent alumni panels, one of our presenters spoke to me one-on-one about doing what makes me feel fulfilled, and today I very much did. As a result, what I have learned from our alumni and from listening to myself is that I truly need to make it a priority to contribute to my craft in a way that makes me feel happy, which means changing the way I spend my time. Until we meet again… 

From the shores to the mountains

By: Joe Gilberto

Today was a nice slow day for “Hofstra in L.A.”  We got up early and headed out to the Santa Monica Pier, a popular tourist attraction for its wonderful view of the Pacific Ocean and fun amusement park. We had tons of fun taking pictures of the beautiful blue waters and riding the iconic ferris wheel on the pier. From there, we went for a walk along the shore and made our way to an adorable little park.  After a quick lunch, we traveled out to the Griffith Observatory. Placed high on the Hollywood Hills, we had a perfect view of all of Los Angeles, and to the right, we could see the iconic Hollywood sign. It was gorgeous and our group enjoyed touring the planetarium as well.

That night, we met at Emerson’s L.A. campus for a wonderful alumni panel.  This panel was made up of recent graduates and focused directly on their move to L.A. and any insight they could offer about the process. It was great to hear stories of people moving from the east coast to the west, the logistics that went into it, and the dreams that lead them out here. They also gave great advice on what steps to take directly after college in finding your first job or pursuing higher education. At the end, I even got to speak with some alumni on a very similar career path as myself, one being a writer and another being in development. They were an amazing and lively panel, and I really appreciated getting to meet them. I cannot wait to see them at the DGA reception this Tuesday!

Uh, let’s go the the beach, each, let’s go get away

By: Caroline Lea

Today started off a little slow with a late bus driver and 19 sleepy students. The meetings, the constant going, and the slight jetlag are starting to catch up to us, but today was a perfectly calm day to let us catch up a little. Instead of hiking mountains, we chilled on the beach in Santa Monica for a bit and played on the swings before getting lunch. The best part of the morning, though, was the boardwalk. Immediately upon getting to Santa Monica, we went down the boardwalk and took some fabulous photos (shout out to Marissa for being a photographer for everyone), while we waited for the little amusement park to open. When we got there, we expected to just ride the ferris wheel and go, but as soon as we walked in, Marissa noticed a stuffed raccoon that you could win at one of the many carnival games the park had. So, naturally, we had to play to win her the stuffed version of her favorite animal after riding the ferris wheel, which has a gorgeous view of prizes which were our favorite animals. So, we all played games in an attempt to win our favorite animals. Julia got her bee and Daniella got her dog, but I am so uncoordinated, I couldn’t manage to knock over three clowns to win the elephant pillow I so desperately wanted. I had accepted defeat until Jared swooped in and saved the day! Jared so kindly played the game, knocked over the clowns, and gifted me the elephant that he won. 

City of angels and spectacular views

By: Kalle Neuman

Today was another fun and rewarding day of bonding, exploring, and taking in some of the many experiences L.A. has to offer. We spent the morning at Santa Monica Pier, and the weather could not have been more perfect. It was nice to soak up some sun and to see the Pacific Ocean for the first time. The beach was beautiful, and I’m so glad that I got to spend another fun day with my peers. Most of us rode the giant ferris wheel, and the views from the top were just breathtaking. The photos really can’t do it justice.

After that, we headed to Griffith Observatory where the views were even more incredible. You can see pretty much all of L.A. from the top of the observatory, and the Hollywood sign up close (even through the smog). We got to watch a movie in a crazy, domed theater that was about water and space. After a brief existential crisis, I was struck again by the feeling of immense gratefulness that I have towards being on this trip. I feel like every second that I’m here, I’m just in shock and feel like I’m living a dream because everything is so wonderful.

The alumni panel with recent Hofstra grads was interesting and insightful. Some of them were former participants in the Hofstra in L.A. program, and it was helpful and great to hear their stories, advice, and opinions on getting started in the industry and what to do after Hofstra. I can only hope that someday I’m cool and relevant enough to be asked to be a part of one of those panels.

Observing Santa Monica

By: Christina Morgana

Today was another laid-back day in sunny California. At 10:30, we ventured onto the Santa Monica Pier. Although it was a Sunday morning, it was full of energy and life. From street vendors to magicians, there was a lot of action on the pier. After taking some necessary pictures with the beautiful beach scenery, we headed to the small amusement park. Much to our chagrin, most of the rides were $8-10. However, we decided it was a must to go on the ferris wheel. Getting a beautiful view of the beach and town surrounding it was much worth the toll in our pockets. After that, we wandered down to the beach and enjoyed the swings as much as the children there. After we had enough of the sand, we stopped for a bite to eat and made our way to the Griffith Observatory.  

Upon reaching the highest level of the building, we could see the Hollywood sign in the distance. It was hard to believe that I had hiked over there less than 24 hours ago. To finish off the day, we went into the planetarium show called “Water is Life.” Our narrator Steve talked us through the many constellations and planets in our lovely galaxy. Much to Dr. G’s and Professor Morosoff’s surprise, I did not fall asleep during the show. 

Lastly, we had our second alumni panel of the trip, or as Dr. G and Adria have coined it “Young Alumnite.” This panel consisted of more recent alumni out in the field who discussed moving to L.A. and how to approach the field as a new member of the workforce. I found this networking event easier than the first one, as they were more understanding of our position since they were recently in our shoes. I hope to build more connections with them on Tuesday. Halfway done!