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Miami Theatre seniors travel to Chicago

Students enjoyed networking with alumni and professionals in theatre

theatre seniors Miami students learn about careers in TV production with Miami alum, Geoffrey Baer

A group of faculty and students from the Department of Theatre embarked on a 4-day professional networking trip to Chicago in March, 2015.

Connections with Miami alumni and professionals in theatre and related fields were formed as part of a new initiative designed to bring networking and professional practice experience to students. Ten seniors participated in this inaugural trip, with a rich itinerary of events and opportunities that included:

  • A reception with theatre alumni currently living and working in Chicago
  • A tour of the Goodman Theatre with alum Adam Belcuore ('96), Casting Director
  • A tour of public television station WTTW with alum Geoffrey Baer ('78), writer and on-camera host
  • A panel and mentoring lunch with 6 recent alumni who talked
    about transitioning from school to work
  • A workshop on the “business of the business” and “branding” with alum Michael Ingersoll ('01), performer and producer
  • An improv workshop with alum Andy Eninger ('91), head writer for Second City
  • Attendance at a production of Two Trains Running at the Goodman Theatre and Panic on Cloud Nine at Second City
  • Individual networking appointments

Chair of the theatre department, Julia Guichard said that feedback from the students was overwhelmingly positive. "Their comments (below) clearly articulate the value of this experience."

“One most valuable moment was my individual networking meeting. I have a potential job waiting for me now!”

“I'm very glad that I went on this trip, because it really has encouraged me to make real decisions for after I graduate. Actually going to Chicago is very different from alumni coming here to give lectures or even do the same thing that they did there (talk about what they do, etc.). Just being in the atmosphere helped me engage myself.”

“I now realize that I need a stepping-stone before I go to LA. I do not think I am brave enough to just jump on a plane and go to LA. Going on this trip made me realize that acting is really what I want to do in life.”

“This trip really made me consider moving to and working in Chicago before I move to New York City or somewhere else I might go. After this trip, I am considering and looking at jobs in Chicago more because now I feel like I have more connections and a better chance/understanding of the industry.”

Julia Guichard says that plans are underway for next year’s trip over fall break weekend in October. "The students had some excellent ideas to make the experience even more valuable, as well as some advice for the next group on how to get the most out of the individual networking opportunity.”

The trip was supported by funds from Miami University Career Services, College of Creative Arts, Miami University Advancement Services, and the Miami Family Fund.

Guichard stated, “support by all made this a truly integrated Miami effort. Because of everyone’s generosity, we were able to offer this opportunity to students at a minimal cost.”