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2005 NACADA National Conference Presentation Code: Concurrent Session/518. Title: A Career Program for Fine Arts Majors without asking, “Would You Like Fries With That?”

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2005 NACADA National ConferencePresentation Code: ConcurrentSession/518

  • Title: A Career Program for Fine Arts Majors without asking, “Would You Like Fries With That?”

  • Presenters: CAROL POLLARD and BECKY KING College of Music, Office for Academic Advising University of North Texas AL POLLARD, Countrywide FinancialTM

  • For further information, email:

  • [email protected] or [email protected]

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How Not To Say…..

“Would You Like Fries With That?”



College of Music, Office for Academic Advising

University of North Texas

AL POLLARD, Countrywide Financial TM

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  • UNT College of Music

    1000 Undergraduate Majors

  • Initial Plans and Goals

    Dream Big

    Be Flexible – Smaller Can Be Better

  • Money Isn’t Everything, but It Sure Does Help!

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Students Have Changed

  • More involvement in activities related to their studies such as rehearsals, lessons, performances, extra curricular and academic core requirements, multi- majors

  • Desire more long term assistance from advisors

  • More outside responsibilities: maintaining a private studio, meeting financial needs, family

  • Career options are changing very quickly

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Careers for Musicians

  • Musicians have many important job skills in addition to the obvious–

    problem solving

    ability to work in groups or alone presentation skills

  • Student creativity in the job market

  • Students must learn how to present themselves to a potential employer.

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Advising has Changed

  • Students are asking for:

    - Assistance beyond classes

    Increased student services available partially funded by student fees

    - More programming beyond freshman year

    - More connections with faculty

    - More connections with other offices

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Rationale for Fine Arts Career Night

  • Fine arts majors unique talents and goals

  • Traditional career fairs typically skirt non-traditional career areas

  • University recognition of need to commit more resources towards career development

  • Advisors’ desire to increase information on career development to students

  • Interest within faculty and on-campus resources to contribute to student career development

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How to Build a Career Nightfor Fine Arts Students

  • Start with the Obvious

    - Date, Time, Place

    - Who and What

    - How, including the schedule

  • Long-Range Planning 3 to 6 months out

    - Set the date and time

    - Reserve the rooms

    - Brainstorm for presenters and topics

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Brainstorming in Detail

  • Dream Big

  • Consider the Resources at Hand

  • Faculty and Local Professionals, Degree Areas or Specialties

  • Keep a Planning File - - Learn from other Career Fairs, Collect Newspaper and Magazine Articles

  • Learn from prior year’s experience - - What worked? What didn’t?

  • Input from participants’ survey

  • List suggested topics for beginning discussions with presenters

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  • Determine Fixed Costs 3-6 months prior to Career Night, including:

    • Room Rentals, Equipment

    • Print Materials & Advertising, Brochures,

    • Invitations, Handouts, Hall Flyers, Mailings, Postage

    • Speaker Fees (Yes or No)

    • Refreshments (Keep it Simple)

  • Refine your Budget 2-6 weeks prior

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Write Presenter Rationale

  • Invitation to Present

    • Letter, Email

    • Make them WANT to be Part of this Special Event

  • Personalize

    • Hint at the Presenter’s Specialty

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  • PRESENTER’S NAME: _______________________

  • Presentation Title (Brochure goes to print on: (date) ___________________________________________

  • Brief Summary of Your Presentation:


  • Length of Presentation: (20 min. suggested)__________

  • List Equipment Required: (electronic, audio-visual, etc. )

    … A Word of Caution ______________________________________________

  • Handouts?___ (suggested quantity) ___

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2-4 Months Before Career Night

  • Send Invitations

  • Contact Potential Presenters on Wish List

  • Provide Rationale

  • List Topic Ideas

  • Confirm Participation and Title of Presentation

  • Contact and Confirm Additional Presenters

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Develop Event Schedule

  • Preliminary format

  • What makes sense ?

  • Number of confirmed presentations

  • Rooms available

  • Adjust schedule as needed

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Event Brochure and Timetable

  • Simple DIY (Microsoft Publisher TM )

    Minimal cost, time requirement

  • On-Campus Print Shop

  • Time Saver: email brochure to printshop

  • Colored Paper vs. Colored Ink

  • 1 Brochure = 2 Uses

    Advertising and Event Program

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General Topic Suggestions

  • Resume and Interview Tips

  • Taking Care of Business

    (Example: professional music studio, taxes, etc.)

  • Considering Graduate School

  • Careers Outside of Music

  • Building a Portfolio or CV, or both

  • Thinking Outside the Box

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Arts Education Topics

  • Researching districts on the internet

  • Large vs. Small Districts

  • Questions to ask in the Interview

  • Questions to not ask in the Interview

  • Relationship of Feeder Schools

    Your Responsibilities to those Schools

  • Does a Masters’ Degree Help?

  • Professional Organizations

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  • Dealing with Parents, Principals, PTA

  • Fundraising

  • Taking Students to Competitions

  • Grad School Possibilities

  • Grad School & Teaching

  • Budgeting issues – Fund raising, instrument purchases, music budget

  • Cooperating with other Fine Arts Faculty – combination programs

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Topics for Performance Majors

  • Auditioning for Professional Performance Organizations

  • Auditioning for Graduate School

  • Masters, DMA or just a Bachelors’ Degree?

  • Why they say to not earn multiple degrees from the same University (rumor has it..)

  • Operating a Private Studio

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Additional Opportunities for Post-Bacc. Students

  • Different options for Graduate Degrees – MA, MM, MME

  • Graduate Fields other than Performance

    • Music History, Theory, Composition, Librarian

  • Financing Graduate Study – Financial Aid

  • Grad School Scholarships

    • Fulbright, Rotary, how and when to apply

  • Resume Writing & Interview Skills

  • Entrance Exams: GRE and others

  • Choosing a Topic for Thesis or Dissertation

  • Teaching at a Community College

  • Choosing a Grad School – Some Things to Consider

    • Faculty & Specialization

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  • Free-Lancing/Private Studio/ Composition/Publishing

  • Business Setup

  • What are work-related expenses?

  • Record Keeping

  • Copyright Information

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  • Career Center

  • Student Leadership Office

  • Local Arts Professionals

  • Related Professional Contacts

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  • Honest student reactions

  • Good source of ideas for next year

  • Construct questions to provide useful, honest replies

  • Feedback for thank you notes - A great way to show presenters how much they were appreciated by the students

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Student Evaluation Form

  • Did this program meet your expectations? Y/N

  • If not, please tell us why.

  • Of all the sessions you attended, which was the most helpful to you?

  • Which was the least helpful to you?

  • Which mini-sessions did you attend?

  • Please list other topics you’d like to see added to this program next year:

  • How can we improve this program?

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RESULTSExpected and Unexpected

  • Our faculty and students felt connected, appreciated, and needed in new ways.

  • We learned new ideas and approaches to getting information to our students.

  • Publicity gained within the College of Music and throughout the university paid dividends all year long.


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  • Appearances Can Be Deceiving

  • Do not be Too Quick to Judge

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When we discuss careers for music majors, we no longer have to include

“Would You Like Fries with That?”