Visual and Performing Arts - From Classroom to Career Freshman Year
Use your academic advisor and the peer advising program to explore VPA and other potential majors, minors, programs and courses, given your interest. What core courses fit best with your career goals? Don't like your advisor? Ask your department chair for a different one or suggest a favorite professor.
Start Dreaming! Attend "Get a Gig" Meetings
What is your "dream job" after graduation? What are you passionate about? Talk to your faculty advisor and other mentors: How can you use your remaining time at Fairfield to prepare for it through class work, internships, volunteer activities, summer jobs, leadership positions with clubs and organizations, and other relevant, out of class experiences. Make an appointment with the Career Planning Center (CPC) to meet with staff, talk about your goals and aspirations, and determine how to best utilize the next four years. Read about jobs in which you might be interested.
It's my time at Fairfield that I truly cherish and that gave me the ability to pursue my dream. While it was always an uphill battle to figure out the logistics of such a merging of art forms, it was so incredibly worth it. As I continue to help shape this field, I'm constantly reminded of how important my time at Fairfield was - negotiating who does what with what equipment and with what performers and who is operating what and blah blah... we all faced that head on and it's proven to be some of the most inspiring memories I hold. Creating "The One Stoplight in Hollis" (Note: his senior project which combined live theatre and film) propelled me in ways I can never express. I am so grateful.
- Jared Mezzocchi; Theatre and Film double major, now a projection designer
Attend "Life After Fairfield" Alumni Panels
Attend a night of discussions with Fairfield alumni who have graduated from the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. Students will have the opportunity to discuss how graduates are using their arts knowledge in their chosen professions as well as ask alumni what they wish they had done in their undergraduate careers to better prepare them for the outside world. This provides great networking opportunities for students as well as valuable insight into future career opportunities. Talk to your department chair for details.
Fairfield University provides students with the tools to discover their strengths as well as the tools to discover the world around them. My Jesuit education gave me the courage to pursue my passion and major in Art History. It also gave me a deep understanding of the global economy. I realized that in order to turn my ideas into realities after graduation, I needed the practical experience the business school could provide. I consistently rely on my critical thinking skills to navigate the exciting cultural nonprofit world with which I work and ultimately develop creative solutions. Additionally, my interdisciplinary education at Fairfield helped me to understand the cross-functional nature of the nonprofit environment today.
- Megan Kimmins; double major, Art History & Marketing; now executive assistant & social media marketing manager, Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
Join VPA Extracurricular Activities
Join some of the many arts-focused extracurricular activities at the University. Collaborate with other arts students both inside and outside of your discipline to brainstorm and create exciting new artistic works and projects.
- Theatre Fairfield
- University Symphony Orchestra
- Gospel Choir
- The Sounds: A Cappella Group
- The Bensonians: A Cappella Group
- Ham Channel
- Jazz Rock and Blues- Ensemble
- Your Mother Does Improv: A student run improv troupe
- Pep Band
- Private instrumental and voice lessons
Work with a faculty advisor to discuss options for a relevant summer job that could give you experience and add a credit to your resume.
Hear From The Experts
Attend lectures on campus and hear from professionals and experts in your field of interest. In choosing FYE events to attend, include those most related to Visual and Performing Arts and career interests.
Why do 30 percent or more of Fairfield students spend a semester or a year studying abroad? Start to explore the program now. How might it give you experience to aid your undergraduate studies and your potential career? What core courses should you save to take abroad?
Work, Work, Work
Look for a relevant job on campus to gain work experience. Consider volunteer opportunities, often tied to your academic interest, to give your experience and provide information on potential careers, especially with non-profit organizations.
Living and Learning
During your sophomore year, look for a chance to team up and network with other students who may share your perspective on the world and career interests.
Showcase Your Material
Consider creating a blog or e-portfolio to collect materials that you can use to promote yourself in the future. Build a blog.
Ask A Librarian
The DiMenna-Nyselius Library has a large array of resources to help you to discover, begin and manage your career. If you would like assistance in using any of these resources, please contact a librarian.
View a PDF of the entire list of department and University events.
That's just the start. Take a look at this career information from other University offices that we think is also valuable to Visual and Performing Arts majors.