Why the Suspicious Looking Cafeteria Pizza is Worth It
Being a full time grad student and working well over 40 hours a week was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. Coupled with a commute on Metro North each day, it made for some very late nights and very unhealthy eating habits (it is time to reevaluate your life when you consider the NAC cafeteria “gourmet”).
It was also one of the best things I’ve done for my own growth and my career, and I am incredibly grateful that the CCNY Ed Theatre program supports—nay, encourages—demanding schedules outside of academia.
It is no big news that the still recovering economy led to a more challenging job market than ever. Many out of work professionals seized the opportunity to go back to school and earn advanced degrees; young people graduating with bachelor degrees had so few opportunities for employment that many decided to continue their educations in hopes that things would improve by the time they’d eared that Master’s degree. These trends have led to many job seekers with high educational qualifications, but little practical experience. Conversely, those lucky enough to keep or find employment during the recession had the benefit of experience on their resumes, but lacked the academic accreditation their out-of-work peers had now established as the norm.
CCNY’s Ed Theatre program bucked this trend and has an incredibly high rate of graduates walking into their “dream jobs”. It’s curious, but not coincidence.
Throughout my two years at CCNY, the savvy leaders of the program encouraged real-world application of the theories and techniques learned in class. The program attracts and supports working professionals by allowing room for customization. For work, I led the education & outreach efforts for Disney Theatrical Group. For school, I researched the ways students responded to my programs. For work, I wrote curricula for Broadway shows. For school, I explored new approaches for arts-integration, which I applied in Broadway workshops and beyond. Everything I did had two benefits; my education informed my work, and my work propelled my education.
It has been almost two years since I graduated with an MS Education, Educational Theatre from CCNY and I still see the benefits of working and studying full time. I am thankful that the program didn’t require me to give up my job in order to focus on my studies; rather it realized my job would become my dream job if I could learn and apply concurrently.