Our final da in L.A. was the perfect combination of networking and fun. We started the day off at one of ABC’s lots, where we received an in-depth analysis of how they marketed and created content for The Bachelor. They said that they create a lot of content in-house, and I feel like that definitely makes the job more fun. It really amazes me how any different routes there are to reach people and hopefully attract them to the show. There must be a huge army of marketing creative and strategists for ABC, because with the amount they did for just one show, I cannot imagine how much work there is to promote all their other shows.
We can’t forget that ABC is owned by Disney, so after that extremely informative meeting, we headed to the main ABC Studios lot, which screams Disney as soon as you see it: the fencing has Mickey ears in its design, there is a giant Mickey wizard hat jutting from the top of one building, and there are giant dwarfs holding up parts of another building. The Disney fanatics of the group were for sure in heaven. I got most excited when we went into the gift shop and I got a long-sleeve sweater for only $14. Disney and deals—you can’t go wrong with that!
Afterward, we bussed over to The Grove, which is a beautiful outside shopping and entertainment center. It’s was like a fancier and less touristy CityWalk. My friend Cassie and I purposely didn’t eat at ABC so we could experience food from the Grove. We settled on the Zagat-rated Marmalade Café, where I enjoyed a tasty lamb burger and some people watching from our patio seating. We window shopped and took photos our remaining time there, and met up with the rest of the group. We ended the Grove tour at the Farmer’s Market, which has dozens of small shops and food stands. I love more Mom & Pop type stands like this, so that was definitely my favorite section.
Finally, we ended the day with part two of Real Time with Bill Maher—we watched the live show. It was fun getting to see how thy changed Maher’s script and which jokes they cut between Thursday and Friday. To be honest, it was better than most of us expected and I think Maher had some really insightful things to say about the government shutdown and how the middle class has been squeezed over the years like the amenities on an airplane. His guests included former U.S. representative Barney Frank, opinion columnist for the Washington Post Catherine Rampell, conservative blogger and radio host Erik Erickson and raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, who added a different dynamic to the show, since he is not at all political. After the show, the producer allowed us to pick his brain about how the show changes before air and how everyone prepares for it. It was also cool to observe the crew striking the set and revealing some of The Price is Right set underneath.
I wish I could say the last day ended happily, but it ended in terror as our dean tried finding the class a new flight since JetBlue cancelled all flights headed to JFK airport the next day. Our time has come to an end as a class, but the knowledge we have gained and memories we made will last…for a while, I hope!