MEET CHRISTINE! Christine is an alumna of B.F.A. in Visual Art Studies. She is currently working as the Educational Coordinator for the Greater Denton Arts Council.
We asked Christine some questions, advice for current students, and how UNT helped her to succeed and SOAR BEYOND!
When you started at UNT, what were your plans after graduation? How have these plans changed (if at all)? I started at UNT in 1991, when I transferred from UTSA where I was an Architecture major. I loved Architectural design from a very early age. I was an Interior Design major for three years. As you learn and grow, your priorities change so I changed my major one last time. I graduated from UNT in ‘99 with a degree in Visual Art Studies. I honestly loved all my studio classes and could have been a career student, but by then I was a wife and mother with a loan that needed to be paid off. I went straight to teaching High School art and then middle school art for a total of 15 years in teaching. I think that taking a variety of classes that I was interested in and student teaching helped me to see what I enjoyed doing most. I think that internships and part-time jobs show us where we belong and give us a wide range of skill sets.
How did your program at UNT help you to feel prepared for this role? I left teaching because of a newfound passion that I discovered. Working with exchange students, traveling, and then becoming a leader in that organization. I took side jobs that have given me additions skills that have all lead me to where I am now.
How did you find your current role (website, email, word of mouth, etc)? I walked into the Greater Denton Arts Council to meet with the Director because of a mural idea that I had. Not once in the last 20 years did, I stop doing my art as one of my side jobs, and this meeting was all about timing. The previous Education Coordinator had just left and in our conversation about all my different job experiences, it was discovered that I had everything I needed for the Education Coordinator position.
What was the toughest interview question they asked you? The toughest interview questions are always the ones that seem to have the right answer and not just looking for people to be honest. Like, “what are your weaknesses?” That’s a baited question in my experience because my honest answers have kept me from getting jobs that I would have knocked out of the park because my strengths outweighed or counteracted the weakness that the interviewer can’t get past. I’m a bit “old school” in this area and having trouble telling people what I know they want to hear.
How did the Career Center help you? The career center helped me find my first job after completing student teaching. Since the services are free to alumni for a lifetime, looking back on it, I probably should have in the last few years. Everything that I did though brought me to the Patterson-Appleton Art Center and GDAC and I believe that here is where I can use all of my strengths to do the most for my community and the artist in my community that I now support.
Would you like to be featured in our Soaring Beyond Success Series? Email Jeanette Hickl. We’d love to share your story!