As we say so long to the one and only Kelly Schmader, I wanted to take a moment to say a quick hello! The metaphorical torch of Graduate Ambassador-ship has been passed from Kelly to me. I am currently in the summer between years one and two in the Masters of Arts Management program at Columbia. Grad school—specifically the MAM program—has been a whirlwind thus far. Tons of reading. Lots of writing. Many, many new friends. And a love affair with the city of Chicago. I will for sure dive into more detail about all of these things at some point over the next year, but for now—a few basics!
Five fast facts about me:
- Born and raised in Topeka, KS
- Basically grew up in a community theater and have dabbled in just about every aspect of the craft that exists
- Had a stint as a chemistry teacher (no joke) in Dallas, TX through an organization called Teach For America
- I can often be found humming, talking, or singing to myself without realizing that’s what I am doing—my cohort can attest to this
- I have a sweet pup named Peggy who played an integral role in defining work-life balance during my first year
Before I sign off for today, please allow me to geek out for a bit. This summer, I have the out-of-this-world opportunity to intern at Steppenwolf Theatre Company here in Chicago. (If you are unfamiliar with Steppenwolf, I strongly advise clicking the link to find out more.) I am currently interning in their Development/Fundraising department, specifically with the Campaign team, which is raising money for the brand new theater space that is being built as I type this. I have been following Steppenwolf from afar for years and never thought I’d get the chance to be on the inside, even if just for the summer.
Two things I am loving about Steppenwolf:
1. On one hand, it is a pretty regular office setting. People are diligently working on all of the aspects that cause the company to run. It definitely feels on par with my other office experiences.
2. On the other hand, this place is a playground! There is always something going on around every corner. Opening nights, first rehearsals, tech weeks, donor events. The list goes on and on. I get the sense the train never really quits moving here, and for that I am grateful. It has also been great to learn along with some other amazing interns from all over the county.
This sort of outside-the-classroom learning is one of the things that drew me to Columbia. Not only can I learn the skills I need in classes on campus, but I can also venture out into the wonderland that is the arts scene in Chicago, putting that learning to the test. I’ll be back in a few short weeks with more experiences from my intern adventures, hopefully with some much-needed beach time sprinkled in. Later!