What’s your full name, hometown, undergrad major and graduate studies program?
Hi – I’m Sarah Sgro and I’m from Pittsburgh, PA. At GU, I earned my undergraduate degrees in French/ International Business before going on to graduate school earning my degree in Performing Arts Administration at NYU Steinhardt.
What first drew you to Gannon?
Gannon was actually the only college I visited while I was applying to schools in high school. There was just something about the campus and the people that made me feel instantly welcome and made me really excited for the opportunities that would follow.
Why were you interested in pursuing this program?
I was really excited about being able to pursue a business degree and work on my foreign language skills in the process. I wanted to be able to study abroad without it being an issue for my other courses, but it was able to fit right in. My original intent was to eventually work in an international setting, since I love to travel.
What were some memorable class/activity/program experiences during your undergraduate years?
The best times of my time at Gannon involved my friends in Alpha Psi Omega, the theatre fraternity, and in Gamma Sigma Sigma, the service sorority. Those theatre kids know immediately how to make you feel like one of their own, especially when you’re the little fish in a big pond. Being so involved with the theatre actually led me to make a change in my career path and focus on the business side of the performing arts, putting the skills that I was gaining through my program together with the thing that I was (am) most passionate about.
When did you decide you would pursue a career/graduate studies in your field?
I made the decision to go to graduate school in the fall of my junior year. I was just starting to realize that I wanted to get a master’s degree, but I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to study. I was looking at both MBA programs and a bunch of other, random things (including, in one fever dream, a degree in astrophysics so I could work for NASA. Why, I do not know.) Over the course of that year, it became really apparent that I needed to be in the arts– for one, people kept thinking I was a theatre major because I was in the Schuster so much. And then the magic words happened: Arts Administration. And there I went!
How is your experience going so far?
I’m really happy with my choice to go to grad school! I just finished my master’s degree in May and have been fervently looking for that elusive “big kid job.” And it finally panned out! I’m starting a job as a press assistant for a PR agency here in New York, so I’ll be working on coordinating all things press for both Broadway and off-Broadway productions.
What’s been your greatest accomplishment in the field so far and what are you looking forward to accomplishing?
I’m really proud of the internships that I’ve had over the last two years and the theatres that I’ve gotten to work with. I’ve learned so much about how the industry works when it’s not onstage and how a million invisible moving pieces come together to make that production actually open. I’ve interned in both development (fundraising) and in publicity, and I feel like I’ve really gotten some amazing practical experience in both fields.
I’m really excited to start this new position. I’m excited to actually have a job that isn’t an internship, that I can have real responsibilities and I can actually make an impact in my work.
Please describe any extracurricular(s) you have been/are involved in during your time at Gannon?
I was involved in Alpha Psi Omega, Gamma Sigma Sigma, music ministries and probably other things that I’m not remembering. I liked to try and do anything I had time for!
What advice would you give someone who is currently in the college search process?
Visit! You can find so much information online these days, but you’ll never be able to understand if you’ll fit in at a place until you walk on campus. Also, don’t be afraid of asking questions. I’m positive that you won’t be the only one with questions and the people you’re talking to definitely have the answers you need.
Any final thoughts?
In college, you’ve got to be open to new experiences- don’t be afraid to talk to new people, take a crazy elective or try a brand new activity! Everyone else is learning too, no one is going to judge you for being new at something.