BC Should Incorporate Career Development Into Arts Fest

Arts Fest 2017 was a resounding success. The three-day showcase of the artistic talents of the Boston College undergraduate student body was well advertised with ample flyers, pamphlets, large easels, and other digital elements that reflected the artistic appeal of the festival itself. This well-executed promotion was integral to the success of the event and is something that the arts department should look to replicate in the future.

While Arts Fest was certainly successful, there are still ways in which the festival could be improved. In particular, the arts department should expand the event to make it a career-building and networking opportunity for students interested in careers in the arts and media, similar to the Career Center’s annual Career Night for the Arts. The creation of this additional program could be facilitated in multiple ways in partnership with the Career Center.

Arts Fest puts the best that the arts community has to offer on display. It is a prime opportunity for recruiters and alumni from relevant industries to come to the University and assess potential candidates for hire. There is perhaps no better way for creative students to demonstrate what they have to offer employers than an event that showcases their work such as Arts Fest.

In a similar vein, Arts Fest represents a way for alumni in the arts and media to promote their personal work as well. By coming back and speaking to students about their careers and struggles in industries such as television, music, film, and fashion, these alumni will gain a new audience for their work and therefore will benefit by giving back to the BC community.

Events at Arts Fest this year demonstrated the potential of this idea. The Industry Insider Panel featured prominent BC alumni in the television industry, and drew a considerable crowd for a Friday afternoon event. Tracey Wigfield, BC ’05, who recently launched a new sitcom called Great News, and Philip Gilpin, Jr., BC ’03, who is the executive director of the Independent Television Festival (ITVFest) were among those featured on the panel. But these are just a few names on the list of BC’s growing number of alumni in industries such as television that could potentially teach current students how to get their feet in the door.

It is no secret that the University offers extensive opportunities for students considering careers in business and finance to meet with potential employers and alumni, such as visits to campus by recruiters from Fortune 500 companies and lunches with big name alumni. There are many students at BC that want to pursue careers in the arts and media industries as well, and the University should seek to increase the opportunities available for these students to do so.

Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Photo Staff

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