Film Schools are bad environments to learn the craft of filmmaking. Despite bad tuition, many programs cater to newbies and start everything off with remedial coursework you will certainly regret taking as soon as you start. And if you're thinking there's access to equipment, think again. Film Schools get approval for equipment acquisition after they receive their budget from the University as a whole. This means that they will sometimes market that they can give all sorts of gear to anyone anytime, but that is simply not true. I attended a school in Chicago that marketed that students would be able to use the latest and greatest, but the obstacles to use them once you are in the system was overwhelming. Also, it is important to note that filmmaking isn't taught and, if you're learning to create in a university program, you'll only learn to don dated techniques that simply are not true. Like any art form, Cinema is only limited by what you can imagine and translate to the screen. If you want to be a run-of-the-mill Spielberg hack, you can go to film school, but I guarantee you won't be able to separate yourself from anyone else learning the same techniques elsewhere. Oh, and as for connections, most film students are broke and hoping to make connections too, so those are useless (though you can form some pretty cool teams to tackle some projects). And teachers? Nope, most of them went into academia because they didn't get success in the actual industry. Besides such, making any connection in the industry is only as good as developing a unique talent and voice that viewers and audiences can't turn away from. Your "connection" is going to view you as an investment he or she is forwarding for your talent. If you have no talent because you've been banking on the connection, then the whole ordeal is pointless! To put it bluntly, screw film school, immerse yourself in your craft, SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT (and once you're too tired to shoot, SHOOT AGAIN), then curate what you shoot to the community you are in (seriously, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, Youtube are all your best friends). Don't waste $50,000 a year to have a dry institution teach you to make things badly.
Get yourself a Wooden Camera Cruiser with standard dovetail. Buy it once and it's your shoulder rig for life. Eventually you can upgrade it with the crossbar with rosettes and handles for more solid operation.
Stick with a dovetail shoulder rig. They allow you to keep the primary weight of the camera on your shoulder for ease of operation. For this instance, you'll also want to have a good EVF off the camera each time you operate.. Any proper camera setup is built studio style on a standard bridgeplate anyway. Don't waste time with any rigs that don't let you build off a studio dovetail.