Discovering creative careers

A lot of students come to our office knowing that they are interested in a creative career, but are not sure exactly what that might look like. A “creative career” is a broad description, so we encourage these students to dig into their interests a bit more to learn and gather information. For example, to one student, a creative career might mean something that involves creative writing, while to another it might mean a non-traditional work environment, and another might be interested in making physical things. Below are some good starting places!

Informational interviewing is a incredibly helpful, low-pressure type of networking. You find someone who is doing work that you find interesting, and ask them about their job, how they got there, what advice they might have for someone like you, etc. You get the chance to lead the conversation, and find out from someone who is doing firsthand what you would like to try out.

LinkedIn is an online form of networking. You can use LinkedIn to find people working at companies you admire, look at what alumni of UW are doing, learn what people who majored in certain areas are doing for work, and form connections! LinkedIn is a good way to identify people you may want to informational interview.

Alumni of the UW are eager to give back to current students. Seek out alumni through your major or department, or check out the variety of opportunities that the UW Alumni Association (UWAA) is putting together to connect students and alumni.

Talk to the academic advisers in the majors and departments you are considering. Find out from them more about the classes, projects, students, and alumni of that area.

The Student Voice Project is run through the School of Art + Art History + Design and provides a variety of events throughout the year where students can interact with alumni of the School, and learn more about the variety of career paths those alums are pursuing.

Attend dance, music, theater shows. Talk to people afterwards. This is a built-in opportunity to engage with people who have similar interests to yourself. Seek out creative communities and places where you can find camaraderie and common goals and interests. Learn what others are doing.

When you’re trying to figure out what to do with your life, the best things you could do are try some things out and talk  to people who are doing what you’re interested in. These are obviously just a handful of suggestions and there are many other ways to discover what creative careers are out in the world. Feel free to schedule an appointment with a career counselor and talk to us in person about your own interests, values, goals and skills.


By Shannon Merchant
Shannon Merchant Career Counselor Shannon Merchant