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Annual Career Night for the Arts is Nov. 7

10/31/13

By Rosanne Pellegrini | Chronicle Staff

Published: Oct. 31, 2013

Some 25 alumni will return to campus Nov. 7 to participate in the annual Career Night for the Arts, hosted by the Arts Council and Career Center at the McMullen Museum of Art from 7-9 p.m.

Launched in 1999, the popular event offers an informal networking opportunity for students of all majors who are considering the arts as a vocation to meet with BC alumni who have successful careers in writing, music, theater, fashion, visual art, photography, arts administration and other areas. Organizers say more than 100 undergraduates attend each year, and chat with various arts-affiliated professionals such as musicians, composers, conductors, photographers, graphic designers, painters, arts editors, producers, directors, stage directors, arts journalists, museum administrators, art dealers, film editors, writers, actors, instructors, consultants and arts attorneys.

“The alumni not only represented an impressive array of arts-related careers, they were enthusiastic about answering every question I had and providing valuable insight into the professional arts industries,” said Victoria Sponsel ’13 of her experience at last year’s event.

The benefits, organizers note, go both ways. Students can forge professional contacts, get practical advice and explore both internship and career options. Alumni have the chance to “give back” by assisting students in navigating the professional arts world, sharing their post-graduate experiences and offering advice, while catching up on campus happenings and connecting with fellow arts alumni.

“This year we are trying to extend this relationship between BC students and our arts alumni, in hopes that we can continue to educate and inspire them to pursue aspirations of working in the arts,” according to Arts Council Program Administrator Sarah McDermott.

“We are encouraging our alumni to sit with us in front of a video camera to discuss their careers and answer relevant questions that might help students beyond Career Night. We are also asking alumni to send us resumes to incorporate into the Career Center database for students to access as models for creating their own resumes.”

Asked what advice she would give to aspiring BC musicians, soprano Emily Rose Walsh ’07 – who presented a concert on campus earlier this month – said: “Don’t feel pressured to pursue a master’s degree at a conservatory right away. If you need a break from school, consider working for an arts organization. I did for several years before graduate school, and I’m grateful for the experience.

“The job helped me understand the complex challenges facing arts organizations by the economy and dwindling public interest in classical music, which is invaluable insight for a performer hoping to get hired by these institutions,” she added.

For more information, see www.bc.edu/content/bc/offices/artscouncil/CareerNight.html. Leading up to the event, the Arts Council will feature attending alumni — including Walsh — on its BC Arts Insider blog at bcartsinsider.wordpress.com.