No matter what career students hope to pursue after graduation, working in a brand new arts center is a rare and relatable job opportunity that is now available on the Virginia Tech campus.
The Center for the Arts recently hired around 90 students to fill its staff before the opening season. These students fill positions ranging from production to patron services.
“It’s about 40 (students) for production, 40 for patron services, and about 10 for other positions, including graduate students,” said Jonathan Boulter, associate director of patron services.
Production includes everything from lighting to sound to rigging: all the work behind the scenes.
Patron services involve the more visible roles like box office attendants and ushers. Administration covers marketing and communications, and others are involved in assisting with gallery work.
While these positions are currently filled, Boulter said that doesn’t mean students shouldn’t apply.
Boulter was involved in each step of the recent hiring process. Students attended a career fair held by the Center for the Arts, applied to various positions and were later brought in for the interview process.
Haley Randolph, a sophomore majoring in environmental science, said she was asked to come in for an interview two weeks after the career fair. Two weeks after the interview, she was hired.
Randolph was hired in the patron services department as a box office worker and an usher. Patron services employees are mainly hired based on personality and communication skills, while production employees are hired based on experience.
“We chose students that we felt would best fit our needs inside the center,” Boulter said.
Working in a professional arts center gives students a unique experience compared to other student jobs. It provides students the opportunity to work in a professional environment and apply their experiences to any future career.
“It’s literally like working in a big city performing arts center,” Boulter said. “I think that’s a huge asset to the students to be able to do that.”
Student employees are currently working toward the center’s opening performance night on Nov. 1.
Production employees are helping with lights and moving things around, while patron services is focusing on box office operations.
Ushers have already trained and are prepared for the night of the first performance in the theater, which will feature the Philip Glass Ensemble.