How Dreams Change
When New Doors Open
If senior Sarah Clark had been told she would be taking a summer internship at the Cincinnati Opera as a freshman--she wouldn’t believe it.
“My whole life I dreamed of becoming a choir teacher,” the Grand Ledge native said. “I came to Central Michigan University as a music education major and I fully believed that was what I was going to do.”
In Spring 2011, Clark got a job as a student manager for the event management staff at the School of Music and all her plans altered. After working many concerts and recitals Clark found her passions were shifting and she was starting to question her career goals.
Once Clark had the opportunity to work the opera, she recalls that event being the kicker to make a change.
“I got to be completely in charge of working an opera and it was life-changing. I was wearing the headset and directing the show,” she said. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘this is what I need to do’.”
After finishing out her junior year, Clark finally worked up the courage to switch her major. She said it was one of the hardest things she has done.
Since there is not an arts administration degree at CMU, Clark had to create her own path. She chose a Bachelor of Music with a minor in business management. It was then she decided to start applying for internships.
“When I finally started to create my resume I was really surprised by how much I had actually done,” she said. “There were so many experiences I was able to have with the School of Music that have helped give me an edge to stand out in the crowd.”
Clark said the support of School of Music gave her the confidence to sell herself and her abilities. She said the classes she had taken also gave her the knowledge and assurance to have a great interview.
“From conducting class where I had a sense of empowerment to theory class where I learned the importance of discipline, each class has given me a greater respect for other performers,” Clark said.
Another aspect credited to her success is networking, she said. When guest performers come to the School of Music Clark said she takes time to strike up a conversation at any opportunity she can. Learning that everybody knows somebody has opened up a lot of doors, she said.
After a long journey, her determination will meet action this summer when Clark begins her internship at the second oldest opera company in the United States of America. She said she cannot wait to see her ambitions take place in the professional world.
“I am just so excited to be getting this chance to work with singers, and I’m a vocalist so I can empathize directly with the artists,” she said. “It’s going to be an incredible experience. Plus the venue is jaw-droppingly beautiful. “
Clark chased after her passion regardless of the uncertainty, but she said she wouldn’t change a thing. After multiple interviews and two offers, she said it was really exciting to see such a positive response to everything she has worked for.
“I put all my effort in making my dream of arts administration come true and I’m feeling really hopeful,” she smiled.