Career Development Center offers arts career trek over spring break

Feb. 18, 2014, 12:35 a.m.


VICTOR XU/The Stanford Daily
VICTOR XU/The Stanford Daily

This spring break, the Career Development Center (CDC) will offer a new career-exploration program focused on art and art administration that will offer participating students exposure to the San Francisco art scene for a day.

Entitled “Art is My Occupation,” the program was created through a collaboration between the Department of Art and Art History, the Stanford Institute for Diversity in the Arts and the Stanford Arts Institute. Participants will visit CounterPULSE, the Asian Art Musuem and the San Francisco Arts Commision.

“We are very excited to offer this arts-focused trek as there are plenty of creative students and a wealth of creative industries in the Bay Area,” said Liz Celeste, gallery and exhibitions manager, who will help lead students on the trek. “I think it’s important that students get exposure to what different careers in the arts can look like.”

The “Art is My Occupation” career trek will join a set of similar offerings put on by the CDC, with participants in each program spending one or two days touring various companies and organizations in the targeted field. According to program director Erin Grant, organizations that are selected to be part of the career treks represent unique facets of that particular industry.

“We try to pick organizations representative [of the sector] as a whole,” Grant said. “That way they meet people that have different roles and learn about what the job is on a day-to-day basis, so students can compare and contrast.”

Grant also noted that by going to the organization itself rather than simply talking to representatives while still on-campus, students get to see what the workplace is like.

Students who had gone on the trips expressed similar sentiments. Bana Hatzey ’14 attended the business-and-media trek that was offered last September in New York City.

“As Stanford students, we don’t really get opportunities to do things on the East Coast,” Hatzey said. “[The trip] was a really great chance to see what things are like in New York and have quality time with recruiters. We all got to meet each other and have networking sessions.”

Jeremy Schreier ’14, who attended a “Both Sides of the Bay” trek that focused on non-technical careers in the high-tech industry, said that he felt his choice of major had been reaffirmed after attending the trek.

“I felt very validated for studying at Stanford and felt like I could get a really good job without being in engineering,” Schreier said. “The skills you can get through studying humanities and social sciences are definitely valuable in these companies.”

According to Grant, students are selected for each trek by a committee consisting mainly of the faculty members that organize the trip. The 15 to 20 students that are chosen to attend the trips are supported completely by the CDC, with the sole requirement that they pay a deposit that would ensure their attendance.

The CDC recently moved the deadline for “Art is My Occupation” to the end of the month–from an initial cutoff date of last Monday–in order to encourage more applications, according to Celeste.

Grant said she hopes that, through the career treks, the students will be able to explore various professional paths and opportunities, as well as facilitating connections between students, alumni and participating organizations’ employees.

“I want students to think about where they will be five or ten years after graduation,” Grant said. “The vast majority of people get jobs through networking, so I want students not only to understand the value of networking but also how to do it so they are better off when they don’t have the support that they have [at Stanford].”

Contact Catherine Zaw at czaw13 ‘at’ stanford ‘dot’ edu.

Catherine Zaw was formerly the Managing Editor of News for Vol. 245 and Vol. 246. To contact her, please email [email protected].

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