Making the Most Out of Your University Experience
Anna Dueck, a student in the School for the Contemporary Arts (SCA) working towards a Major in Dance, talks about the importance of getting involved.
In your own words, how would you describe the Contemporary Arts?
Contemporary Arts as a genre is a categorization of different forms of expression through music, theatre, dance or anything that can would be classified as art. In regards to Contemporary Arts as an area within FCAT I would say it encompasses all the student and staff interest in the fine arts. It is a place and learning space in which we are welcomed to explore and discover new ways of creating and practicing.
As a student in the Dance Major, what do you love most about the program?
What I love most about the program is having the ability to guide the way in which one would like to pursue the dance program. As the program continues into 3rd and 4th year, it is easier to concentrate on performance, choreographer, teaching, etc., to further support the path one wants to pursue after graduation. Professors are supportive of students wanting to pursue projects by finding ways in which the school can support the students to succeed.
Currently you are interning at The Dance Centre, what has the experience taught you, and what is your role at the center?
My role at The Dance Centre was an Administrative Assistant under the supervision of the Member Services Coordinator. My role had a variety of jobs ranging from archiving the video library, adjusting information in the database to developing outreach opportunities for the marketing manager. This experience has taught me largely on what opportunities are available within arts administration and what I may want to pursue after school.
Would you recommend that other SCA students pursue internships, and if so why?
I would highly recommend other SCA students to pursue internships enhance their experience not only as an aspiring artist but accessing all opportunities available as a student of SFU. It allows students to use the skills they developed in the classroom outside of SFU in an active working artist community. As well, each internship is very individualized. Depending on what the company or organization you may be working on, the previous student’s internship responsibilities may be completely different than the current one.
What do you love most about FCAT?
What I love most about FCAT is how small of a faculty we are, but how unique our programs are. To think FCAT includes Contemporary Arts, SIAT and Communications that encompasses such a wide range of students pursuing degrees that are less prominent. Many courses within FCAT are cohort based, and it has allows students to become more familiar with one another and build stronger relationships.
You moved here from Calgary to attend SFU, what was that transition like, and can you give any advice to students who are experiencing the same transition?
Moving to Vancouver to attend SFU was a chance for me to experience being on my own while pursuing my passion for dance. That being said, being on my own has been one of the most rewarding but toughest parts of my life. I have had to adapt to situations on my own and rely on myself when things don’t go the way I had planned them to. My advice to other students, find friends in the same transition period so you can rely on one another when experiencing situations you were used to having your family to rely on.
Tell us about your most engaged moment here at SFU.
My most engaged moment was most recently at the banquet for scholarships recipients for the Fall 2015 term. This event left me overwhelmed with pride to be an SFU student because of all the possibilities we have for students to learn and develop their own research. The speakers also talked about SFU’s motto of ‘Engaging the World’ and I realized there are ways I can apply the education I have received into the broader world.
How do you find balance between student, intern, and personal time?
I found balancing my time between these three aspects of my life to be manageable because I treated the internship as another class. In total I was enrolled in 4 courses, and one of them I considered FPA 406, the internship course. Although the hours required each week for FPA 406 were above the average course load time, it was compromised having no work to be completed outside the office. This allowed my time outside the office to be focused on my other studies or personal time.
What has been your most memorable experience relating to something outside FCAT?
My most memorable experience was organizing and attending SFU’s Relay For Life in March of 2014. I was the Team Development Chair for the event encouraging students, Greek life and varsity athletes to come together for a night of fundraising for the Canadian Cancer Society. This is memorable for me because there was over 350 students gathered in one area for the same reason. It gave me pride in the SFU student body and what is possible when there is a larger group of people.
Do you have a website, an online portfolio, LinkedIn profile, etc. that you would like to share?
I have a Linkedin profile: https://ca.linkedin.com/pub/anna-dueck/60/b42/71
I also have a food/baking blog, which you can visit here!