Life is indeed a wild ride. As an RIT alumni, I was recently invited to participate in a panel discussion about the reality of life after college. I can’t even imagine my career had I sat in on this discussion when I was attending the Rochester Institute of Technology!
There is no way I would have believed you if you told me back then that I would return 16 years after graduating to pass along my wisdom. As a Wedding Photographer, no less!
The panel discussion was lively. With all different creative artists on the panel, I was struck most by how similar our stories and struggles are.
Panel Discussion Topics for RIT Alumni:
1. What is the biggest misconception about life after graduation?
2. How has your creative work changed? Did you notice a shift in perspective or belief after you were out of school?
3. What do you do to make money? Do you make a living selling your creative work?
4. Were you prepared for the realities of finding opportunities? (i.e. employment, exhibitions, clientele, access to studio space/equipment, etc.)
5. Explain the significance/importance of networking.
6. How do you come up with a pricing structure? What do you charge people for your work or your services?
7. What are your goals for the near future? And for the long term?
The highlights that I hoped the students would walk away with were:
* You don’t have to afford your own work
* Someone wants whatever you are selling – Find them
* Create trends, instead of following them
* Join professional organizations to learn pricing, marketing, business and networking
* Try to be humble, yet don’t hold yourself back
The panel artists were:
Thank you Bradley Butler for inviting me to participate. I hope that someone found some value in whatever I had to offer the discussion. At the very least, it was nice for me to meet the other artists and some students afterward!
Was there a favorite nugget that you received that night? Any insights since? What do you wish you could share with someone else??? Please use the comments below to continue the discussion!