Conversations Over Coffee

Splitting time between Fisher College of Business and the Department of Art Administration, Education, and Policy can generate some cultural whiplash.

What a shocking revelation, Sherlock.

I’ve never felt comfortable in either school of thought– my career goals are different than those of many of my peers in Fisher, and my arts administration education is shaped by my business academics.

I’m a Fisher student because I want to build my skills as a fundraiser in a foundation of business. Also, I aspire to be an Excel god.

I study Arts Management because I believe the arts make life worth living. The unique challenges of arts administration merit a formal education.

Like many across Ohio State, I am isolated in my hyper-specific career interest. It is safe to be lonely– you feel less competition from your peers. Your unique interests already differentiate you.

I find myself relying on this advantage too frequently. As I move into my third year at Ohio State, I need to renew my intrinsic motivation to avoid complacency.

This summer, I’ve been challenged by three different arts administration experiences. Nothing forces self-awareness better than intense practical experience.

I understand that I am a decent writer and researcher. I can communicate with patrons and donors effectively. I can generate content. I thrive with strategic thinking. I can grasp nuance and complexity.

I need to improve my consistency in communication. I need to budget my time realistically. I need to execute my good ideas. I need to celebrate pros instead of focusing on cons. I need to be thorough and methodical.

I recognize the necessity of community and experience to point out my flaws, offer helpful criticism, and congratulate me. I hope I can return the favor. Because my isolation in career interests is myopic. We are all more similar than I acknowledge. Collaboration is infallible.

Business knowledge is constructive. Arts administration is a dynamic industry. I’ve built them into a false, unproductive dichotomy. If I’m going to be master of none, I better suspend my discomfort.

Curiosity is the root of my strengths and a cause of my weaknesses. What a sustainable motivator.

Mistakes made and lessons learned

The Wex is amazing– please check it out. You can see dope art for free with your BuckID.

As an aspiring fundraiser for the arts, I know diverse work experience is critical to building the skills and relationships for my career.

This summer, I’m sticking around Columbus to continue working for the the Wexner Center for the Arts and start a new internship with Wild Goose Creative. In July, I’ll move to Charlottesville, VA for an arts administration fellowship at the Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival.

Apparently, I only work for organizations with ‘W’ names.

I want to fundraise because I want to enable arts organizations to function effectively. As I involve myself in the dynamic arts industry, I’ve gained invaluable perspective from mistakes made and lessons learned.

Assume nothing.

Last Thanksgiving break, I left campus on Tuesday evening. I woke up on Wednesday morning to emails and phone calls from my boss. I was supposed to be at work that Wednesday, but I assumed the office was closed since class was canceled. It was not my finest moment.

Google first, then ask.

When I have a question, I get tunnel vision.  Justin Johnston, executive director of Wild Goose Creative, tells us to search before asking. Works like a charm.

Track your work.

Bullet Journaling may be the scourge of Instagram, but I use the system to track my work. Being forced to rewrite my to-do list every morning helps me prioritize. I keep it close at hand to make notes whenever I remember tasks.