Student Spotlight: Caroline Avolio

Caroline AvolioFull Name: Caroline Avolio
Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI
Academic Level: Junior
Expected Graduation Date: May 2019
Majors: Theatre
Co-Majors: Arts Management
Minors: N/A

What’s your biggest takeaway/learning outcome from the Arts Management program?

This is going to sound like a cop-out answer, but the “real-world” experience, if you will, of the Arts Management program here at Miami has really been a game-changer for me. In our classes, we rarely discuss hypothetical situations—we read and analyze real arts organizations’ tax forms, we help to rebrand currently-operational, local theaters, we develop our own entrepreneurial ventures and create real, online platforms on which for them to live. It’s rare to have such experiences before entering the workforce, and it’s been incredibly beneficial to have learned about these things while still in school.

What’s the biggest thing you accomplished as a student in the Arts Management program?

Using my two degrees, Theatre and Arts Management, to land my dream internship! I couldn’t have done it without my Arts Management experiences.

Where will you be doing your internship?

This summer, I’ll be working as the Goodman Theatre’s Marketing Intern in Chicago, IL. The Goodman is a Tony Award-winning theater and is both the oldest and largest non-profit theater in the city, having been founded in 1925. They produce both classical and contemporary works from a diverse range of playwrights.

How did you get set up with the Goodman Theatre?

A friend of mine, Mario Formica, presented to one of my classes last year about his internship at the Goodman Theatre, and I immediately talked to him to find out more. When it became time to apply for internships this fall, Mario and I met and discussed things I could do to really make my application shine.

I also worked with the Department of Theatre’s Chair, Julia Guichard, who helped connect me with a Miami alum at the Goodman. I ended up having an informational interview with him in October, just to learn more about the position and about the organization overall. I submitted my application, essay, resume, and letters of recommendation in late January, and then was lucky enough to actually have a chance to visit the theatre on the College of Creative Arts Academic Scholars Chicago Networking Trip in February. The alumni, Adam Belcuore, is the Director of Casting, and he gave us a tour of the theatre, and at that point, I fell even more in love with the Goodman—its values, mission, and facilities are incredible.

After an interview process via telephone and Skype, I was lucky enough to receive an offer for my dream internship! This summer, I’ll be combining my love of theatre with my interest in marketing to study the Goodman’s audiences, and, among other things, figure out new and exciting ways to reach them to publicize the ’18-’19 season. I couldn’t be more excited to not only learn more about the marketing process at a well-established theatrical organization, but also be even more exposed to an industry that I am so passionate about.

What are your plans after graduation?

Although my plans for post-grad are still quite up-in-the-air (mostly because you always can’t control what the future holds, right?), I would really like to pursue my dreams of working in the theatre industry in a major U.S. city, preferably Chicago, Philadelphia, or New York. I plan to apply for jobs in marketing, PR, or publicity departments within theatre and production companies, and then find directing and acting projects that I can work on at night and on weekends.

Learn more about programs in Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship »