BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University graduate Glenn Ramey ’19 said her love for theater opened the curtains to her major in theatre arts — and practical experience gained from part-time jobs and internships while at Appalachian led to her first professional job out of college.
Ramey, who graduated summa cum laude in 2019 with a B.A. in theatre arts and minors in general business and nonprofit organizations, now works as a group sales and service specialist for the Explore Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau.
In her job, Ramey plans events, supports the sales and services department and manages the bureau’s customer relationship database.
“I grew up visiting Asheville and I’ve made some of my best memories in this city,” shared Ramey, who is from McLeansville. “It feels good to know I’m helping others make similar memories. Plus, the work I do helps the community by putting money into our local economy and attracting businesses and entertainment to the area.”
Involvement in her high school drama club sparked her passion for theater. “I couldn’t imagine myself studying anything else,” Ramey said. “I knew I wanted a career in the arts.”
When she was a sophomore at Appalachian, Ramey began working part time at the university’s Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. She started in the box office, interacting with customers as she sold tickets, answered phones and worked events.
“Over the course of Glenn’s employment, she took on more responsibilities with every year. It did not take long for her to master excellent customer service and outstanding communication skills,” said Sarah Heustess, director of sales and patron relations in Appalachian’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs.
Ramey said Heustess served as a mentor, training her on job skills that would help her build valuable experience and define career goals.
“When we think about jobs in the arts, our minds go first to actors, directors, musicians and painters,” Ramey said. “But there are a lot of positions that aren’t so obvious. Working at the Schaefer Center opened my eyes to all the jobs available in the arts.”
She continued, “Sometimes when you’re in class learning about something that doesn’t have a direct connection to your intended career path, it can be hard to see why it should matter. But with all the things I did in my job at the Schaefer Center, I saw why it was important for a theatre arts major to learn about accounting, for example.”
In addition to her part-time job while at Appalachian, Ramey interned for two years with the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), serving as assistant to Joel Williams, professor in Appalachian’s Department of Theatre and Dance and chair of KCACTF Region IV.
Her internship provided experience in event planning and sparked a passion for nonprofit work, Ramey said. “Attending the festival and seeing the good it did for students made me realize I wanted to contribute to the same kind of good in the world,” she said.
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About the Department of Theatre and Dance
The Department of Theatre and Dance is one of seven departments housed in Appalachian’s College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to facilitate transformative experiences for students and the public, which cultivate compassionate, creative and collaborative communities through theatre and dance. The department also offers coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Its dynamic co-curricular production program provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region. Learn more at https://theatreanddance.appstate.edu.
About the College of Fine and Applied Arts
Appalachian State University’s College of Fine and Applied Arts is a dynamic and innovative group of seven academic departments, bringing together a variety of perspectives, experiences and real-world education to provide unique opportunities for student success. The college has more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate majors. Its departments are Applied Design, Art, Communication, Military Science and Leadership, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, and Theatre and Dance. Learn more at https://faa.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 20,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.