A well-rounded liberal arts education allows students to explore several different professional options within a specific interest area. For me, that area of interest is the arts. Since graduating in 2004, I have worked in theater production, arts advocacy, and arts management. The broad range of knowledge and skills I received prepared me well for all three of those career tracks.
Some people might say that a double major in International Relations and Theatre is an odd combination. While I was at William & Mary, I chose those areas of study simply out of personal interest. In retrospect, they each provided a solid basis for my career in arts management. The government classes I took as part of the International Relations program laid the foundation for my work in arts advocacy. Theatre classes and participation in WMT productions provided practical, hands-on learning opportunities.
In my previous position at VSA, I drew on many of the skills I initially developed at William & Mary. For example, when I produced performances at the Kennedy Center, it directly related to my experiences working on shows in the Theatre Department. When I execute arts education programs, I utilize the writing and project management skills I developed in many of my International Relations classes. In managing staff members, I remember the tools I learned through my work as an RA and Head Resident at William & Mary. A liberal arts education provides the critical thinking, writing and problem-solving skills necessary for students like myself to succeed in the professional world.