UVA Arts, University of Virginia

Vol 08 Summer 18 Library
Exhibition curated by Victoria Armstrong
Career Center

Getting Off Grounds with the Career IDEAS Externship Program

Victoria Armstrong
(Photo: UVA Career Center)

There is no learning like the kind hands-on experience provides. Thanks to a dynamic program from the UVA Career Center, students with interests across a variety of industries, including the arts, are finding their ways inside organizations and gaining an important window into the working world. The Career IDEAS Externship Program, directed by Christie Julien, aims to connect students with meaningful weeklong externship opportunities in J-Term and during the Summer months. Students apply to the program via Handshake and are selected by an externship site that will help them explore their chosen field. The program is open to all students, with priority given to those who have not had an internship or externship experience. Groups especially encouraged to apply include Second and Third years who are first-generation college students and are part of under-represented populations. The program is a result of a collaboration between the UVA Career Center and the IDEA Fund, which provides action-oriented leadership and support to University initiatives to ensure that the values of inclusion, diversity, equity and access permeate the University Community and Culture. Last January, student Victoria Armstrong spent her J-Term with New City Arts Initiative, a Charlottesville-based non-profit arts organization that assists people throughout the Charlottesville community through programs including Housing2Home, Artists in Residence, and New City Arts and Crafts. Armstrong, an Anthropology major, was particularly intrigued by the organization’s unique overlap between art, culture, and community. During her time there, she worked with New City Arts Initiative Program Manager Lindsey Leahy on setting up a gallery space. “I have always been really interested in art,” Armstrong said, “and I plan to pursue a career in the art realm. So being able to help design a gallery for an art opening was invaluable to me.” She was very impressed with the organization and the breadth of offerings it brings to the Charlottesville community. “The way that New City Arts Initiative continually finds ways to give back, educate, and foster community shows just how integral art is to this community. I hope to take these important values I learned there and the lessons in community engagement and apply them wherever my career takes me.” 

Learn more about the IDEA Fund...

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