How My Theatre Degree Opened Up Many Doors

Rowan alumna Vanessa Vause in a performance of "The Little Mermaid"

Confidence, personality and dedication. These are three of the biggest things my theatre degree drilled within me. They’re often three words employers add in job descriptions, too. Companies want to work with people who are dedicated with a strong work ethic, confident in themselves and when carrying out tactics. Most importantly, people want to work with someone who stands out, has a good personality with a big heart and open mind.

Rowan alumna Vanessa Vause
In costume for a performance of “Shootout at Shadow Mountain.”

With self-confidence, I tell myself that I can truly do whatever it is I put my mind to. Learning a new skill, taking on a different job, working in a new environment … all of these things can be quite scary, especially for a fresh post-grad. I feel exceptionally prepared when entering new experiences with the confidence the Rowan Department of Theatre and Dance taught me to have. 

Parents often have worries when their child wants to pursue a degree in theatre. It really is like entering the world of the unknown, but trust me when I say your child will gain the confidence to excel at any job they get after graduation. 

Being a part of the theatre department, I was taught to be prepared and to stay on top of my timeline. This is a skill that every single person should have, but especially in the performing world because jobs aren’t always traditional, and they don’t last for lifetimes. This field consists of new job after new job, and so you have to be dedicated to your craft and always willing to work. 

Rowan alumna Vanessa Vause (at left) posing with fellow castmates
At left, before “A Little Mermaid” performance at the Pickleville Playhouse.

Because of what I was taught here at Rowan, I applied (auditioned) for jobs beginning in December of 2018 to have a job after May 2019 graduation. My education and professors provided me with so much knowledge on so many topics. I was prepared with technique, but most importantly, I was equipped with life and people skills. 

The theatre degree taught me so much more than how to sing, dance and act. I feel highly advanced with “reading the room” and knowing what people (employers) want. But there needs to be a balance between providing the employer with what they’re looking for and showing the real you. Being a theatre major taught me how to stick to my guns, yet adapt to what people want, in order to make a living while staying true to myself. 

Rowan alumna Vanessa Vause and her dad stand at the entrance to the state of Utah
Hello, Utah!

I have no regrets going to college for a theatre degree. The relationships I’ve made, the life skills and performing knowledge I’ve gained … these things are priceless. Rowan University Department of Theatre and Dance blessed the past four years of my life. Not only do I cherish everything I learned in the past, but I’m so thankful that it has set me up with the job of a lifetime post-grad. In the spring semester, I landed a dream job, one that I had my eyes on ever since I looked up their website

I got to drive across the country to Utah where I’m working all summer long, performing 10-13 shows a week for sold-out crowds in the beautiful lake town of Garden City. I’ve met my soulmates here, friendships that I know will last forever.

Utah mountains captured by Rowan alumna Vanessa Vause.
What a view!

I’m also learning more about myself than ever. Being around breathtaking nature in a new environment with a brand new crowd has brought out the best in me. There sure aren’t mountains like this in Jersey. To top it off, I’m making connections that are leading to new jobs in the area, something I’m very grateful for. 

This wouldn’t have been possible without the skills I’ve learned while earning my theatre degree. I definitely landed this job because of my personality, confidence and dedication to the craft. If I can do it, you can too. A theatre degree has opened many doors for me, and I’m excited to see what’s next.

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Vanessa Vause, B.A. in theatre (musical theatre concentration) and B.A. in public relations

Photos courtesy of: 
Vanessa Vause