Alumni groups promote arts careers, internships

by Angel Carrillo Leal | 2/2/14 5:58pm

While many students know the Center for Professional Development’s popular recruitment program that many use for jobs in banking, finance and consulting, the office and alumni groups like Dartmouth Alumni in Entertainment and Media are working to expand opportunities for students interested in the arts, too.

Lesley Kingsley, the center’s assistant director for internships and employer relations, said students interested in arts and entertainment need to be proactive in the job search. They can visit the office for a tutorial on using internship databases and alumni networks.

Finding full-time careers can be tricky, but contacts with previous employers and alumni can help expose students to informal job offers, she said.

“You are not going to find a lot of traditional internship listings,” Kingsley said. “It’s really about advocating for yourself and independently arranging an opportunity.”

Assistant director Kate Yee said that each internship or networking event can lead to other opportunities. She encouraged students to be their own advocates.

DAEMA, an association for graduates in entertainment and media, lists alumni whom students may contact for career advice on its website. Representatives from the group, who will visit on Friday, come to campus once or twice a year, Yee said.

DAEMA also runs a six-month mentorship program begun in 2009 that pairs current students and young alumni with professionals. According to the mentorship director Jessica Krug ’11, the program has increased in popularity. Following the December application cycle, 19 recent graduates connected with mentors, its largest group so far, she said.

The Center for Professional Development also facilitates shadow programs over break, which include opportunities in the arts, Yee said.

Currently, Dartmouth students and recent alumni work on Broadway, at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and in the production room at ESPN, Yee said. While entry-level and internship positions themselves may not seem glamorous, the connections are “invaluable,” she said.

Sarah Hylton ’13 said she used the Dartmouth Alumni Directory to land a job at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the summer after her junior year. She worked in the museum’s editorial department, which included editing wall labels and assisting with the museum’s book productions.

Allison Yeager ’14 spent her sophomore winter working for Shine Global, a non-profit film production company in New York City that helped make the Academy Award-winning documentary short “Inocente” (2012). As an intern, Yeager assisted film producers with their work.

Yee said the biggest struggle that students face is getting their foot in the door.

“It ultimately comes down to who knows you, who knows your work ethic and who knows the work that you are capable of doing,” she said.