Visual and Performing Arts - From Classroom to Career Senior Year
How can you best use your remaining courses and free electives to both round out your education and prepare for a career? Talk to your faculty advisor. Is there room for another minor? Use your Visual and Performing Arts faculty advisor and peer advising to choose the best final internships and potential graduate schools. Be prepared for your meeting.
Mentor Underclassmen in Visual and Performing Arts Extracurricular Activities
Mentor students in one or more of the many arts focused extracurricular activities at the University. Continue to recruit underclassmen; 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
Use the Capstone Course in your Visual and Performing Arts concentration to integrate what you have learned and reflect upon how you have grown at Fairfield and where your path will lead you next. The course is usually a chance to sharpen research skills, strengthen your portfolio, and make fresh connections among courses and experiences as well.
Use your final internship(s) to try out careers, find a mentor, sharpen your resume and cover letter, develop a portfolio, make contacts, and apply classroom skills to the real world.
In the fall of 2009, Dr. Marice Rose announced to our Women in Art seminar that there was an opportunity to serve as an intern with the Pequot Library in Southport ... Immediately, I was intrigued by this project, I had always loved books and since coming to Fairfield I had become highly interested in art history - it seemed like the perfect fit. And it was! I worked with Daniel Snydacker, Ph.D., the director of the library, who is also an adjunct professor here at Fairfield. At the Pequot Library I gained hands-on experience researching, cataloging and working on exhibitions. This experience helped me gain independence and confidence in my abilities and prepared me for future positions, including my current internship at ARC Fine Art LLC. For me, the connections that Fairfield University's art history department has with collections and people in the art world are helping to make my college experience unique.
- Sara Alison Hoegen '12
Start Applying to Graduate Schools and Other Post Graduation Options
Talk to Visual and Performing Arts professors about possible graduate school work in Visual and Performing Arts ... or scholarships like a Fulbright Fellowship ... or volunteer experiences such as Teach for America, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps or City Year.
Ask for References
Look for 3+ professors in Visual and Performing Arts and elsewhere who might serve as professional references for you. Discuss your future plans with them and ask for guidance. Stay in touch so they can speak about your successes in an informed way.
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.
I consistently rely on the critical thinking skills I developed at Fairfield to navigate the exciting cultural nonprofit world with which I work and ultimately develop creative solutions. Watching the Bellarmine Museum grow from a concept into a reality in the Visual Resource Center and then helping it to become a burgeoning museum as an intern was invaluable for my career. I work for a Smithsonian affiliate that is currently executing a rebranding initiative and my experience at Fairfield has afforded me the opportunity to participate in the process.
- Megan Kimmins; double major, Art History & Marketing; now executive assistant & social media marketing manager,Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
Service Learning Associates
Housed in the Office of Service Learning, the Service Learning Associates (SLA) program engages 8 to 10 undergraduates each semester as student leaders to their peers in service-learning courses. Each associate works intensively with one professor to support a service-learning course that aligns with the associate's academic background and interests. The associates meet regularly with both faculty and fellow associates throughout the semester and attend professional development trainings facilitated by the Office of Service Learning.
I feel by incorporating educational learning into community service, students are able to take away from the experience as much, or more than they give.
- Carolyn Molloy '13; Majors: VPA (Studio Art) and Psychology double major
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.