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Students Get Career Advice from WCAS Alumni in the Arts Panel

By Cameron Kong

“What are you going to do with your classic music major?” Classical guitarist Bryan Albert got this question often during his time as an undergraduate at Northwestern. Yet, as a freelance artist and touring musician, Bryan’s passion for music remains unabated almost a decade after graduation.

“I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do is play the piano,” he told MSLCE students during a recent WCAS Alumni in the Arts panel. “That’s just what I naturally do.”

The message was clear: your goals may not be understood by others, but that is not an excuse to give up. After years of honing his skills, Bryan’s style brings traditional Catalan and flamenco techniques to contemporary music.

The panel of alumni was encouraging and their stories resonated with the students in the audience. Northwestern gets your foot in the door for opportunities, but then it’s up to you to take advantage of them, said Christian Libonati, who co-founded the Filament theatre in Milwaukee after graduating. Currently Filament’s managing director, he said that being someone people want to work with is more important than where you got your degree.

Ani Schmidt, a museum education professional, explained that a challenging academic environment prepares one for job stress. The pressure students face at Northwestern helps them realize their own abilities.

The panel encouraged students to forge their own career paths. Speakers suggested volunteering at non-profits was a good way to network and learn about other professional opportunities.

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