First I would like to acknowledge and thank the Otago Alumni who have generously donated some of their own funds to help me have the experience of studying in America.
Whilst at the University of Virginia, I was able to thoroughly engage in my area of studies, Theatre, throughout my American college experience. It gave me the opportunity to study the specifics I am particularly interested in, Production Management being a primary one, and allowing me to become more skilled in these areas. It also allowed me to take up opportunities to apply these new skills in a real life situation, whilst still in a learning environment – I was given the chance to take a Production Lab class for credit which involved me being the Stage Manager for the Drama Department musical, as well as learning to create and produce all the necessary paper work that goes with the job.
This overseas exchange experience has opened my eyes to the great scope of necessary jobs and opportunities available in the theatre industry. With the help of the Alumni Scholarship, I got the chance to explore some of these options in an academic environment, as well as being able to experience them in the real world during my trips to Broadway, New York in the summer holidays. It also allowed me to spend some time during the summer as a volunteer at the Heritage Theatre Festival, working for and learning about a summer stock theatre company.
Thanks to the Otago Alumni Association and the University of Otago Exchange Office, I was able to have this amazing experience of living and studying in America. I thank them greatly and am looking forward to encouraging other students to take such wonderful opportunities.