Posted: May 11, 2012 10:44 PM by Breanna Roy (KPAX News)
Updated: May 14, 2012 10:12 AM
MISSOULA- As graduates prepare to walk across the stage, they also prepare to step into a shaky job market. And some careers, like acting and news reporting, have a rough reputation when it comes to open jobs. Yet many graduates, like Kristen Beckmann, will get degrees in those fields on Saturday.
Beckmann loves acting, but she knows an acting career is tough.
"There's almost nobody whose supporting themselves as a full-time actor, so, it's going to auditions and hoping to get cast and hoping to be working on a project and then balancing that with a day job, too, for a lot of actors," Beckmann said.
Once Beckmann earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting she moved to Chicago to chase her dream. She was cast in several shows and performed professionally, but decided to come back to come back to school.
"I got tired of bartending and waiting tables and wanted a life that was more fulfilling and more stable."
But she didn't hang up her dream. She came back to earn her Masters of Fine Arts in Acting and hopes to teach theatre someday.
"I think that if you're following your passion that that's probably the best guarantee for you because that's gonna keep driving you forward," Beckmann said.
That message is echoed across the campus, especially at the School of Journalism where budding reporters can't help but hear the news of the dismal job market. But the school's dean, Peggy Kuhr, said journalism graduates aren't alone in the challenge ahead.
"Jobs are tough to find," Kuhr said. "They're scarce and that happens for people going into journalism, people going into law these days. Lots of businesses. You look at someone who has chosen a field at the university where there isn't a direct job link - philosophy, English, political science - all of these areas. What you want is a great education, a broad liberal arts understanding of the world and then passion to go do something. You'll find it."
Beckmann has found "it." She has a job with the Montana Repertory Theatre this fall performing and teaching across the state. While that contract expires in December, she isn't worried about her next job because she knows she'll be doing what she loves.
"You're gonna hit roadblocks along the way in whatever you do so you might as well being doing something that you love," Beckmann said.