Hi there!

As a senior graduating some time in the near future, I’m here to share with you the greatest piece(s) of advice I’ve learned along my four years in college and 21 years of existence. I say pieces, because it’s hard for me to distill these instances down into a singular defining moment. So rather, I’m going to tell you about the path I went along to obtaining and internalizing these things.

I’d consider my identity unique, but I know it’s far from uncommon at UCLA. I’m the child of first-generation immigrants, who toiled to build lives for themselves anew, amongst great uncertainty. Fortunately for me, my parents were mostly successful. And since they (and the first-generational culture they surrounded themselves with) had discovered how to “make it,” they passed these formulas down to the second-generation (that’s me, and quite possibly you).

Most often these paths included the career arenas of Medicine, Engineering, Law, and Business — which is great if you are inclined towards and actually enjoy the above mentioned professions. But I never once had a second-generation friend who went to their parents with “I want to be an writer/artist/insert creative or alternative path here _____” and received encouragement. Instead, they would hear what so many immigrant parents tell their children:  “_____ is not the safest route in life. We didn’t sacrifice all this for you to take up a precarious profession.”

That brings me towards advice piece #1. Hint: I am one of those people. I’ve been a high achiever my whole life and rather gifted at math and science. I pursued that safety formula for as long as I can remember, without really understanding why. Suffice it to say, I hit a breaking point halfway through college and realized I didn’t want to spend the rest of my time at school, or in my life doing something I didn’t really enjoy all that much. I watched this TED talk by Larry Smith called Why you will fail to have a great career. In his talk, Smith speaks about passion being the driving force for a life lived to its utmost potential, and the difference between settling for mediocrity and a creating a truly great career.

After I heard Smith’s talk, everything kind of just clicked for me. I took his words and juxtaposed them with what my parents and their culture had been urging onto me. And while I accept that the thought process comes from a place of concern and compassion — they only want to ensure security and alleviate potential suffering for their children — I decided I could not settle for the formula for success (read: safety).

And that brings me to the second point of advice. In Smith’s equation, there is no room for safety. But deliberately placing yourself on the front lines of uncertainty is something easier said than done, especially when you have people around you questioning your choices at all times. I didn’t fully grasp the significance of my decision, or come up with a way to justify it to myself amidst anxiety and self-doubt, until I heard Dr. Brené Brown’s thoughts on The Power of Vulnerability. I know at this point I’m beginning to sound like I work for the marketing team at TED, but I don’t, I promise (although I guess that could be cool). I do, however, think these talks are among the site’s most popular for a reason.

Brown’s talk taught me one of the most important things I’ve learned in my life. It is that being vulnerable  I mean really embracing it as fundamental — is essential to attaining joy and fulfillment.

So where does this leave me now? Well, it’s almost going to be two years since I decided to deviate from my selected formula of safety (pre-med) and into a path more authentic and enjoyable for me (film school). I’m graduating soon, and even if the future may be a bit uncertain, I know that all will be well when I’m following and nurturing my passions with vulnerability.

Vesta Partovi | UCLA Career Center Peer Advisor


Looking for an internship in Entertainment, PR, Advertising or Publishing? Want to know what the top companies are? Look no Further…



Everyone in college is looking for that internship that can possibly turn into their dream career after college. However, you don’t want to get stuck with a company that no one has heard about, especiallly in the entertainment industry, it’s all about who you know and who you’ve worked for. The Career Center has your best interest in mind and that’s why we have taken the time to compile one of the largets career librarie’s in the nation in order to bring you Industry resources, books on different careers, industry rankings and data to make sure you have access to teh best opportunities out there!

Let’s build a scenario for what we have to offer: A student comes into the career center and asks, “I’m a communications major and I’m looking for an internship in entertainment, advertising, PR, or publishing.  What are the top 10 companies in these industries in L.A.?”

At first glance it seems that the student is overewhelmed and has no clear direction in what area or industry they want to go into. There are so many options thrown out there that it seems like it will be nearly impossible for this student to narrow down what they really want to do. It’s a good thing that the Career Center is equipped for such complex questions. Those of you who are just buzzing with interests and ideas that you just don’t know what to do, have no worries, our Career Library and Career Center staff is trained and equipped to handle your many needs and guide you in the direction of your dreams!



First of all,  the only way to narrow down what your true interests are, is to do research on the industries you feel most drawn to. In our Career Library we have books on almost every single industry with different careers within that sector. For those of you interested in the entertainment industry I recommend reading:

Kaplan’s “Careers in Communications and Entertainment” by Leonard Mogel located in section 2 of the Career Library

This book featrues over 250 detailed job descriptions in the entertainment world including descriptions of careers in Book Publishing, Magazine Publishing, Newspapaer Publishing, TV, Radio, Movies, Special Effects and more. This great resource also includes expert advice on internships and career planning, equipping you with the knowledge to market yourself in the best possible way to land that perfect internship. There are also informational interviews from different people in their industries describing their job title, what their days look like, the pros and cons of their jobs and why they do it. You can’t go wrong with this book.

Interested in what it’s like to work in the Publishing Industry or even learning what it’s all about? Read:

Fred Yager and Jan Yager’s “Career Opportunities in the Publishing Industry” Second Edition

In this book you’ll find over 90 different job profiles in publishing including careers in writing, advertising, management and more. Read about employment prospects for each job to make sure you’re going into a growing industry, and get different tips for entering that field. Get salary information to know how much you could be making after graduation.

If your childhood dream has been to pursue a career in Advertsiing and Public Relations pick up:

Shelly Field’s “Career Opportunities in Advertising and Public Relations

This resource isn’t only limited to the publishing and entertainment fields, learn about the different industries you can work for within Public Relations. Each industry is unique and you can learn and expose yourself to how things would look like if you did Public Relations for a non-profit, consulting firms and even hospitality and tourism industries in addition to the entartainment and publishing fields. Read career profiles, get salary information, employment outlook data and advice on education and training. This will help you narrow down what your inhterests are or learn about something you didn’t even know you could pursue.

Finally last but not least, you of course want to intern with the best companies in LA but you don’t know how to narrow down your scope. Read our book of lists:

Los Angeles Business Journal: The Lists 2013

This great resource has tabs that organizes industry information and gives you statistics on the top companies in LA. It breaks down how many employees work for the company, company address and webpage, and who their clients are. The book of lists also ranks companies within their industry. Here are the Top Ten in Media, Advertising, Public Relations, News, Radio and Television

1. Advertising Agency: TBWAChiatDay Los Angeles (

2. Advertising Agency: Rubin Postaer and Associates (

3. Public Relations: Edelman (

4.Public Relations: Davies (

5. Newspapers: Los Angeles Times (

6. Newspapers: Investor’s Business daily (

7. Radio: KIIS-FM/KVVS-FM (102.7/105.5)

8. Radio: KFI- AM (640)

9. TV: KABC (7) :

10. TV: KCBS (2):

To find internships within these companies, visit their websites and look for opportunities, check out for more opportunities (summer, part time, paid and unpaid internships) on the BruinView job board , and keep an eye out for opportunities on our Opportunity Lists also found on BruinView under the resources tab. Check out to see even more listings under the students tab>click on internships and opportunity lists to maximize your internship search!!!

Come to the Career Center today, where discovery happens!