New York University — Goal 1 Initiative NYU Creative Careers Campaign
Traditional creative career opportunities - acting, dancing, film and theater crafts, the visual arts, etc. - have been significantly disrupted by the pandemic. While we are hopeful that live performance and other arts that are so vital to our collective humanity will recommence with the widespread delivery of a vaccine, it must be acknowledged that many aspiring artists could also benefit from having more flexible career options. New avenues for creative expression and contribution have also emerged in this difficult time. We have seen the power of technology to open access to new audiences and the need for creative talent across industries to help solve complex challenges that require new perspectives.
NYU’s Creative Careers Campaign simultaneously addresses the challenges and opportunities for artists in this new landscape. Our initiative has a dual focus on students in creative disciplines and employers in growth industries who seek diverse and creative talent. NYU will tap its extensive employer network to source new prospects and promote the unique capacities creative students offer. For students, we are offering a customized learning program that helps them explore “adjacent” careers where they can pursue their dreams, leverage the skills they have gained in their academic programs, and expand their post-graduate opportunities. The program components outlined below will be delivered through large-scale virtual formats; asynchronous learning modules; and small, cohort sessions led by professional coaches and alumni mentors:
- Panels and Networking: Learning from artists in a range of fields who had similar academic backgrounds;
- Reflection and Design: Clarifying purpose and prototyping what rewarding paths might look like;
- Preparation: Identifying existing skills and growth areas, developing an upskilling plan; preparing materials to align with the needs and norms of new industries; and
- Experience: Practicing applying skills to new arenas and challenges through alumni sponsored micro-internships.
NYU’s initiative offers a unique opportunity to diversify the industries that benefit from creative talent while offering students an expanded lens on the possibilities for their careers as artists. The Creative Careers Campaign leverages human centered design methods to support students in translating their skills to growth industries. This initiative takes a holistic approach that helps students connect to their personal purpose while addressing their technical learning needs through employer connections, experiential learning, alumni mentorship, and coaching. In advancing this initiative, NYU is building on proven career development programs as well as recent innovations such as our Podcasting Academy.
Key Interventions and Milestones
The Creative Careers Campaign began engaging employers late in the fall 2020 semester to develop an understanding of their creative talent needs. Throughout the spring semester, the initiative will promote the unique skills and experiences that NYU’s creative students offer employers and recruit organizations with appropriate opportunities to engage directly with students through virtual information sessions, networking events, learning programs, and career fairs. The student-facing program will launch late in the spring 2021 semester and run through the summer with a sequence of digital learning modules, synchronous peer-to-peer and alumni mentoring sessions, and networking opportunities.
Each year, NYU graduates around 2,250 students from creative disciplines. Initially, the Creative Careers Campaign will serve those in the graduating class who are deemed most vulnerable - students who have not identified a postgraduate plan by their final semester. The initiative is expected to support these students in securing gainful employment in a field that enables them to leverage their creative talents within six months of graduation. Over time, the initiative can grow to support students at earlier stages, so they can more intentionally leverage their time at NYU to prepare for a rewarding and meaningful career.