by Kari Swenson (PR/ Communications Liaison)
As all Drexel students get back into the swing of things for the Spring Quarter, I wanted to share my thoughts on the online Arts Administration graduate program.
For me, the program began in September with an on-campus residency in Philadelphia. This was a great opportunity to get to know the other students starting with me in the Fall, as well as faculty and students in the on-campus program. The other students in my cohort came from diverse backgrounds, from a professional dancer currently performing in The Lion King on Broadway to a children's theater director from Rhode Island. Everyone had their own unique opinions to offer and it was amazing to be in a room with other young professionals dedicated to the arts. We also had the opportunity to mingle with on-campus students and learn about the Arts Administration Graduate Association (AAGA), which all Arts Administration students automatically become a member of when enrolled in the program.
The next time I will have to be in Philadelphia is graduation in 2017. Which is great because I live about 7 hours north of Philly in Western New York. The flexibility of the program was what ultimately led me to choose to pursue my Master's degree. Currently, I work part-time for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and work on my coursework on my days off or after work. If I want, I can listen to weekly lectures on my couch or in a local coffee shop. I can discuss weekly readings with my classmates using my computer or with the Blackboard Learn mobile app, which gives me instant access to my courses, on the go.
Another aspect of the program that I am excited to begin is the master's thesis. Yes, you heard me correctly. I am excited to start work on my master's thesis. During the residency, we met with Professor Zitcer, who teaches a course regarding the thesis, and that short overview got me excited. The faculty at Drexel are so invested in the students and they want to do everything they can to help us succeed and achieve our goals. Even as an online student, professors are only a email, phone call, or Skype session away, regardless of the geographical distance. Not to mention that they are all leaders in the field! Most recently, Professor Vakharia was invited by the National Endowment for the Arts to present his research!
Lastly, I want to talk a bit about AAGA. When I started the program, I wanted to take advantage of every opportunity and be as involved as I could even though I wasn't on-campus. So when a few first-year positions opened on the AAGA board, I emailed the president (Carly) and floated the idea of potentially contributing in one of these positions. I was surprised when she said that would be a great idea! Long story short, that's how I came to be the PR and Communications Liaison. So far, it's been an amazing experience. Thanks to the wonderful world of technology, I am able to FaceTime or simply be on speaker phone for weekly meetings, and despite being 6 hours away from Philadelphia, I can work with the board and do everything I can to promote upcoming events and maintain our social media presence.
I hope this post gives a better insight to the online Arts Administration program. I have so much pride in this school and this, and have the utmost confidence that Drexel is one of the best places to learn about Arts Administration. If you have any questions, or are considering Arts Admin for graduate study, don't hesitate to reach out to any member of the AAGA board, myself included, or check out the Drexel Resources listed on the main page.
Check out this amazing video put together about the Online Arts Admin program!
MS in Arts Administration online