Today: Apr 23, 2024

Professionals discuss their careers in liberal arts

Jack Abbot- General Reporter

Several professionals working careers in the arts and humanities came to the university to speak about their career paths.  

The event was held on Tuesday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and was hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences, Interdisciplinary Studies, Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy and Professional Development. 

This event was to educate students on various career paths that students could achieve in the arts and humanities. 

“The whole goal of this event is to make students aware of interesting career paths in the arts and humanities,” Coordinator of Arts Administration and English Professor Joel Dodson said. “That includes everything from the public humanities like museums and libraries, as well as the fine arts.” 

Panelists and students in the Adanti Student Center Theatre. Photo: Jack Abbot

Many of the presenters said that their education went beyond the degree. Instead, they argued that the skills provided by an education in the arts or humanities, such as creativity, are skills that employers in various sectors are in demand of.  

“It’s good to understand how things work,” McAllister said. “What does it look like to send out that contract? What does it look like to create a budget and manage it? What does it look like to have an event go from seed to flower?” 

The presenters included Curator and Cultural Producer for Cultured AF and Kulturally LIT Juanita Sunday, Marketing Director for the New Haven Symphony Orchestra Katie Russo, Project Specialist for the Yale School of Art Annie Lin, Head of Special Collections in Buley Library Patrick Crowley, Program Manager for Connecticut Office of the Arts Kolton Harris and Associate Director of Community Impact Sha McAllister. 

“This is extremely important,” English Professor Scott Ellis said. “We need to show our students, not only English majors but the humanities in general, the numerous career opportunities that await them once they graduate.” 

Each of these members spoke about their own experiences in the workforce and what students could learn from them. Harris said that your career is only a part of who you are and that you should not allow your creativity or other important aspects of yourself to be destroyed by your career-driven side.  

“Only you are you, and the world needs you to be you,” Harris said. 

The event was held in the Adanti Student Center Theater and received a good turnout.  

Many of the event’s attendants and organizers suggested that there are career options for students in these programs but that awareness of them is very low, with some suggesting that it is due in part to a lack of support from the university. 

“We seem like an afterthought,” Ellis said. “What I’m hoping the university can do is recognize that what the employers say they want in all of these surveys fits quite well with the arts and humanities.” 

Crowley emphasized the importance of flexibility and adaptability in a career path. 

“Pivots are not setbacks. Pivots are just different ways forward,” Crowley said. 

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