Oles explore fine arts, finance, journalism, and publishing careers as part of the 2017 New York Connections Program.

Coaching | Key Events | Support

The arts encompasses many possible career areas and roles — some students may wish to be a practicing artist or performer, while others may want to work in supportive roles such as those found in arts administration. Still others may want to work in larger industries, such as film, media, or fashion.  One of the most common attributes of careers in the arts is that there is rarely a single path that people will follow.  Just like creativity and art itself, each career journey is unique and made up of many different stops and experiences along the way. 

The Piper Center is eager to support you in exploring careers in the arts, as well as finding jobs, internships, and other opportunities.  Please stop by the Piper Center anytime during business hours to have an initial conversation with a Peer Advisor. When you are ready to go further, meet with our arts career coach Meghan McMillan by scheduling an appointment in Handshake.

Job & Internship Searches in the Arts

Posted vs. Hidden:  Posted internships are usually found on an employer’s website or other job & internship site.  However, opportunities in the arts are more likely to be “hidden”, meaning they may not be entirely visible in online searches.  As a result, you are more likely to identify and obtain job and internship opportunities through networking or a direct inquiry.   Arts organizations are less likely to post their open jobs and internships widely on career sites and will instead primarily post on their own webpages and rely on word of mouth.  (Larger, nationally-known organizations.    Therefore, while it is often easier to browse websites for opportunities, often the best internships or jobs come about through relationship-based strategies.  Leave plenty of time for networking activities – in fact, the more time you spend with this search strategy, the more likely you are to find an opportunity you really want.  Be brave!

Venue-based Search: One of the best ways to identify jobs and internships in the arts is to search by venue.  In a given geography, identify all of the arts venues that are of interest to you and search on their websites or inquire directly with relevant staff.  If you don’t see opportunities in the present, ask when they typically post internships or how they usually post for open full-time jobs.  You can use the Art Venues by City/State list to help you.

Hiring Timelines:

  • Internships: Excluding performance opportunities, most arts organizations will post and hire for summer internships in the spring – starting around February.  Larger, nationally and internationally prominent venues are more likely to post and hire for summer internship programs starting in December or January.   Occasionally internships do exist during the fall or spring semesters and hiring for those opportunities will generally occur in the term prior.
  • Jobs: Full-time roles in the arts typically come available as needed, usually when there is a vacancy that needs to be filled.  Therefore, seniors who are seeking full-time opportunities will need to wait until the very end of their senior year (late March, April or May) to begin actively applying for opportunities.   This is because organizations will expect you to start soon after you accept the offer.

Highlighted Opportunities: Follow the link ‘Highlighted Arts Opportunities In Handshake to access jobs and internships that have been flagged by the Fine Arts coach in the Piper Center.  (Note: The number of highlighted jobs and internships will vary.)

Take advantage of all the jobs. leadership roles, and others opportunities that are available to you on-campus or in the Northfield community.  This can be a great way to explore your interests, develop your strengths, and build experience that can transfer to the world of work.

Here are just a few examples – can you think of others?:

  • Working in the Flaten Art Gallery
  • Graphic design or photographer roles are often opportunities in campus departments and within the Student Government Association (SGA) organizations.
  • Assist with ushering, costumes, scene construction, and other roles within the Theater Department
  • After-school program assistants and Art Leaders at Greenvale Park Community School
  • Event management and program support roles in a wide variety of departments
  • Connect with the arts in the community at the Northfield Arts Guild

Professional and Industry Associations

Professional organizations are a fantastic way to explore careers, gain insight into specific industries, and keep up-to-date on relevant news.  Engaging with professional associations and participating in events can help you connect with relevant creative professionals and build your credibility in your area of interest.  Consider using professional associations to develop and enhance your career journey:

  • Search for information related to entering the specific career field.
  • Many associations have job and internship databases.
  • Access current information and news related to your industry
  • Follow the association on LinkedIn to receive relevant content in your feed and demonstrate your credibility in the professional community.
  • Join as a student member – often for free or at a greatly reduced rate – and indicate your membership on your resume to demonstrate credibility with potential employers.
  • learn about and participate in networking or industry events to meet and engage with arts professionals.

Select the arts area for a full list of relevant professional associations in the arts.  Looking for a specific association that isn’t listed?  The Professional Association Finder is a great resource for national and international organization related to career industries.

Piper Center Coach for the Arts