Displaying items by tag: Networking

By Merinda Christensen 

The 7th Annual ArtsForce Networking Event that took place on March 7th displayed the strength and dynamic of the arts from both students and professionals. 

ArtsForce is a student-led organization under the supervision of CFA Internship Coordinator, Kate Wolsey, that strives to create opportunities that help students develop skills needed for professional growth during and after college. During this event, local artists from film, music, theatre, art, and dance came to speak to students across the College of Fine Arts about how to prepare for a successful and fulfilling career in the arts. 

“The biggest lesson I learned from this event is that community is important…Collaborating with people from other fields in your community might spark ideas that you wouldn’t have had otherwise. I was inspired to find ways that my art could enrich or help others.”
– Kira Sincock, Entertainment Arts and Engineering Major, Drawing Minor

This event started out with a panel of local art professionals (and College of Fine Arts alumni!) David HabbenKylie Howard, and Camille Washington. They discussed times when collaborating with another professional changed their work process, what they do every day that contributes to their success, and how the community has been important to them as they continue their career, including where students can look to build their own community. Their experiences and advice were insightful as they emphasized the importance of doing your best and recognizing where your art and skills can and will take you. The focus of the panelists was to address how to succeed and being true to your work even through the tough times you will experience as an artist. 

Important takeaways: 

  • Kylie Howard communicated to the students that it’s important to pick yourself up, even when it gets hard because you are valuable to your community and workforce. She also mentioned that you don’t have to figure it all out right now, discover your strengths and make it work for you! 
  • David Habben emphasized that there will be times where you are in a rut – times will be hard. But, to find a way to take a risk, even when things are hard, that is the best time to take those risks. 
  • Finally, Camille Washington wanted to present the importance of how valuable your skills are – stay engaged in what you’re interested in and always know you will be able to find a path to apply your knowledge and skills as you reach out and build the community you want to see.  

During the Networking Luncheon, which followed our panel, students had the opportunity to communicate and connect with local artist of different arts disciplines. Students gained support and guidance as they were able to articulate the value of their arts degree in a professional setting. Positive feedback highlighted the importance of this event and how it was beneficial to each student that came. 

“The Networking Event helped me build my networking skills…I have new contacts to help me start to build my career before I graduate. Something that used to be so  intimidating is more doable.” 
– Katie McLaughlin, Instrumental Music Education; Oboe Performance Major 

The 7th Annual Networking Event created opportunities and ideas for students preparing for a career in the arts. We want to thank the panel, local art professionals, University of Utah faculty, staff, and students for joining us this year. CFA Students, don’t forget to join ArtsForce for up-to-date information about internships and career related opportunities, ways to get more involved with the arts on and off campus, and more!

*Author Merinda Chrinstensen is an Instrumental Performance major in the School of Music, with an emphasis in harp. She is an Emerging Leaders Intern with ArtsForce. 

Published in Finer Points Blog

By the ArtsForce Team. Photo by Daniel Stergios.

Big thanks to everyone who came to the Career and Professional Development Center for our second ArtsForce Workshop!  Also, big thanks to Crystal Young-Otterstrom and Mary Stringham for coming out from the Utah Cultural Alliance to share their experiences when it comes to the nitty-gritty of networking. The Utah Cultural Alliance serves as a bridging voice for art and humanities promoting advocacy, awareness, and professional development. As they connect to communities and organizations networking skills are a must and Crystal share with us the ways she feels are best to make genuine connections and building a network.

Some things to keep in mind when networking:
- Start your network now
It becomes apparent the more you network that everyone knows everyone, so do what you can to be someone that people want to work with. You never know how someone may affect you professionally later on.

- Know your audience
Cater your discussion to who you are talking to. Make the conversation relevant to what you want out of this branch of your network.

- Be genuine
While many times these discussions are about business, they are still people, be relatable and enjoyable to talk to. It's okay to be yourself and let them get to know who you are as a person.

- Get to the point
No need to fluff things up too much and drag the conversation out. If you have a point, make sure you reach it without taking forever.

- Follow up
This will help to differentiate you and make you memorable. 


If you are unsure how to do this, ask them for the best way to keep in contact. Eric Bloomquist, University of Utah Career Coach, put together materials to assist attendees to start networking. Thanks, Eric. If you are current CFA students and would like to use these materials, they are posted in the ArtsForce Canvas Community.  Not a member of ArtsForce, join here. Want to know about our upcoming ArtsForce events, see our calendar here.

ArtsForce 2015 Red

Published in Finer Points Blog
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