How Students Can Prepare for an Art Career
Carolyn Edlund | ArtsyShark
Interview with Chrissy Garrett of SCADSavannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) is a leading art school located in Savannah, Georgia with campuses in Atlanta, Hong Kong and southern France. With over 9,000 students enrolled, they offer majors in many fields of art and design along with innovative learning experiences. Chrissy Garrett is a Career Development Specialist there, whose background includes coaching women athletes in track and field. Chrissy agreed to speak to Artsy Shark about the opportunities at SCAD and how students in general can use their art education experiences to their best advantage.
ArtsyShark: Do SCAD students take business classes? Are they required?
Chrissy Garret: SCAD offers a minor program called Business Management and Entrepreneurship. It is not required and is open to all majors. The majority of students who select this major are highly interested in owning their own businesses or simply acquiring the basic business skills that will be beneficial in their chosen career in some capacity.
In addition, we will be hosting the SCAD Entrepreneurial Exchange Conference during February of this year. Some example sessions include “What is an Entrepreneur and How Can You Become One?”, “Legal Issues, Intellectual Property Rights in Art and Design”, and “Tap into Funds for Your Entrepreneurial Idea or Business”.
AS: Tell us about student internships – how do you find them and in what area of study are most available? Are they paid or unpaid? How do you feel about unpaid internships?
CG: With a total of 46 majors at SCAD, we receive internship opportunities in a majority of those areas. Employers of all sizes from around the world offer internship opportunities to our students. For some majors, freelance opportunities are available more than internships. Although some internships are paid, we are seeing an increase in the number of “unpaid, academic credit only” internships. The majority of students here at SCAD seek internships regardless of whether they are paid or unpaid.
Knowing the value of professional development and “hands-on” or “on-the-job experience” can afford students, I highly recommend they participate in an internship whether it is paid or unpaid. Certainly, obtaining money and work experience are a great match (and every student intern’s dream), but I personally do not value one over the other. Experience sells; and whether a student was paid or not paid is irrelevant in most cases.