Things I Didn’t Know About Juilliard: Services for Professional Development

by Caeli Smith, 3rd-year Violinist

It’s comforting and empowering to know that there are people and programs at Juilliard standing by to help us become successful and well-rounded artists. Whether you’re a musician, actor, or dancer, once you arrive at Juilliard, you will discover that there are many different offices and programs outside of your department designed to support you, your education, and career.

One of my favorites is the Office of Career Services, where they help you out with everything from cover letters and resumes, to editing videos and recordings for auditions. Not only that, they’ll also hook you up with gigs for a that much-needed extra cash. Of course, Career Services is also a great place to find practical, real-world career advice. At Career Services, they make you feel supported as a student in a different way than your department teachers do. It’s comforting to know that there are people who are concerned with the business-end of your career – you know, the complicated bureaucratic stuff that we sensitive artists don’t always like to deal with! Career Services helps guide us through practical situations and prepares us for life after Juilliard.

Another office I love to visit is Educational Outreach. Let me just say it: this department is incredible. Educational Outreach offers numerous fellowships to students, to help us share our art through performances and teaching, all over the entire NYC metropolitan area. I am currently thrilled to be a recipient three of the fellowships, and to have the opportunity to teach and perform for New Yorkers of all ages. Aside from being an antidote to those soul-crushing hours toiling alone in the practice room, these fellowship opportunities provide us with teaching experience, resume boosters, and the extra cash needed fund our fabulous NYC lifestyle (AKA, that tiny little apartment in Astoria).

Also – take your blinders off! When students first arrive at Juilliard, they’re totally and understandably focused on and excited about all the great work ahead of them. It’s tempting to be narrow-minded and sink all your energy into classwork and practicing. Be sure to open your eyes. Be mindful all of the incredible artists around you, in so many disciplines. Take advantage of all the other divisions’ performances. Collaborate with them in performance and teaching. When you are at Juilliard you’re at the epicenter of the performing arts world. Music, dance, theater: it’s all here. Take advantage of the art being made by your peers outside your discipline. Their art will inform yours, and you will be stronger and better for it.