Sharon Van Meter ‘20 of Hebron, Connecticut, is a history major and a religious studies minor at Connecticut College. She is the co-marketing director of Wig and Candle, Conn’s student-run theater organization, the social media manager of Cadenza, Conn’s literary and arts magazine, and a student advisor.
I thought I might be looking in vain for a work study opportunity on campus that fit my precise criteria. I was looking for something that involved social media for an arts department that was not located in an office. However, as if by magic, the perfect opportunity appeared one day on CamelWeb, the intranet service available to Conn students. The theater department had just announced a new “publicity manager” position, and I, a self-professed “theater nerd” with a keen interest in communications, jumped at the chance.
I sent my application to the theater and film studies academic assistant and landed an interview. Two days later, I received an offer, and before I could even celebrate, the hard work began. I was called upon to start publicity work for the spring musical, “The Cradle Will Rock.”
Being publicity manager is never monotonous and personally meaningful. One day can consist of writing a press release for the local newspaper, in our case The Day, and the next might involve designing a theater production program. The fact that I get to promote such spectacular productions to the public makes my work feel meaningful as a proponent of the arts
My favorite work so far has been creating and carrying out a social media campaign for senior theater capstone projects. Every year, the theater department holds a festival for senior theater majors to perform their final projects during the first weekend in May. I decided to interview the six students doing theater capstone projects and feature a capstone project each day on the Connecticut College Theater Facebook page. During these interviews, I asked about the inspirations for these projects, how the process was, and their advice to students planning on completing a capstone project in the future. The answers they gave were thoughtful and compelling. What started as a simple social media campaign transformed into an opportunity for me to look within myself and think about my passions. As I posted each interview to Facebook to publicize the event, I pictured myself presenting a culminating project of my years at Conn, displaying my visions to the public as these six seniors were.
This job opportunity has been formative in my time at Conn. Instead of holding a position and working for the sole purpose of making money, I was able to find one that allowed me to hone my skills as a writer and social media user, and create meaningful work that allows for soul-searching in the process.