Life after SAIC
An education in art and design can open the door to a surprising range of careers, including some you may never have thought of. At SAIC, we help you explore your options. We prepare you—whether you’re hoping to carve a professional life as an artist, a scholar, or an entrepreneur. And we connect you. With a vast choice of internships, job and interview prep, and a network of alums across the country and around the globe who want you to succeed, you’ll graduate with the skills, connections, and insights you need to build a creative career after SAIC.
Start Here, Go Anywhere
Creativity, and the critical thinking and problem solving skills you learn here, are sought after in every type of workplace today. They're also essential for any entrepreneurial project. Take a look at what a few alums are doing now.
Russett is a senior product specialist at YouTube. She also has her own consultancy as a social influencer for brands and creatives.
With an MFA in Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects, Pilloton founded Girls Garage, the country’s first-ever design construction school for female identifying youth.
Chicago native Bump is a professor and award-winning author of the book Everywhere You Don’t Belong.
As head of animation at Walt Disney Studios, Lawson Smeed’s work can be seen in films like Tangled, Moana, and Frozen.
Naka is Atlas Obscura's director of creative development, overseeing everything from podcasts to film production.
Ross-Ho is a visual artist whose work has been featured in solo shows worldwide and in the 2008 Whitney Biennial.
Samochna infuses new technologies with human-centered design at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Currently working on Google’s Material Design team, Lopez is a visual and interaction designer.
Your Career Prep Hub
Career and Professional Experience is where you’ll connect with SAIC’s career resources and services as a student and, later, as an alum. Start early: CAPX can even help you figure out your strengths.
How We Prepare You
Professional Practice Experience
Required for all undergraduates, this course preps you for life after SAIC. Instructors from across all departments guide third- year students through an evolving curriculum of job prep, project development, and network building.
Career, faculty, and peer advisors work with students and alums, tailoring coaching to serve your individual needs while helping you to identify your strengths, values, skills, and experiences.
Job Search / Interview Training
CAPX offers on-demand virtual interview training for all experience levels. Internet access is all you need for 24/7 practice and valuable feedback from a dedicated team.
Help With Emerging Industries
Bold, unconventional, innovative —these are just some of the qualities SAIC encourages in students. For artists and designers who want to forge a more unique path after graduation, CAPX has dedicated resources for building a future in an emerging industry as a freelance creative or through entrepreneurship.
Career- Focused Events
CAPX hosts career-related events throughout the school year. Through panels, practical workshops, info sessions, and professional expos, students and alums have the opportunity to meet with industry leaders for career advice, creative critiques, and professional recruitment.
A World of Internships
CAPX has ties to hundreds of internship providers, including studios and museums, publishing firms, fashion houses, tech startups, and community organizations in the US and globally.
Alum Allison Glenn and the Power of Listening
For School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) alum Allison Glenn (Dual MA 2012), the art of curation is about collaboration. So, when she was asked to helm an exhibition in Louisville, Kentucky, honoring the life of Breonna Taylor, Glenn knew what she needed to do: listen.
Amy Sherald, Breonna Taylor, 2020, oil on linen, 137.2 x 109.2 cm / 54 x 43 in, © Amy Sherald. Photo courtesy of Bill Roughen
Image Credit: Rana Young
Glenn served as the guest curator of Promise, Witness, Remembrance at Louisville’s Speed Art Museum, an exhibition honoring the life of Breonna Taylor. Anchored by a portrait of Taylor by Amy Sherald, the exhibition reflected on Taylor’s life, her killing in 2020, and the local and national protests that ensued in the following year.
The entrance to Promise, Witness, Remembrance. Photo: Bill Roughen
Glenn chose the title from a conversation with Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother and—as Glenn describes—the exhibition’s key stakeholder. To develop the exhibition, Glenn convened an advisory panel of artists and filmmakers, arts administrators and historians, and relatives of Alton Sterling and Trayvon Martin. She worked alongside additional members of Taylor’s family, a Steering Committee of Louisville community members, local and national artists, and the Speed Art Museum staff to strike the right tone for this massive undertaking.
Left: Sam Gilliam, Carousel Form II, 1969, acrylic on canvas, 120 x 900 in. Right: Lorna Simpson, Same, 1991, 16 color Polaroids in four frames with 11 plastic plaques. Photo: Bill Roughen
For Glenn, local community involvement was critical. In one of her first meetings with the Louisville Steering Committee, they asked Glenn to incorporate new elements, including a suggestion that the exhibition have more color to reflect Taylor’s spirit. “There were moments of discomfort for me, which absolutely led to complete growth, and moments where I was humbled. But, to actually listen … might mean you have the opportunity to pivot toward ideas that, overall, can have a stronger impact.”
Hank Willis Thomas, Remember Me, 2014, neon, © Hank Willis Thomas. Photo: Bill Roughen
How We Connect You
The weekly Expert Exchange lets students and alums connect virtually with creative professionals to get personalized career advice and discuss future work opportunities.
The SAIC Job Expo
Undergrads, graduate students, and SAIC alums can attend the annual Internship & Job Expo. This all-virtual event offers individual meetings and group sessions with more than 125 leading organizations from the creative and cultural industries.
Connect With an Alum
SAIC alumni volunteer to offer practical help to current students, including workshops that cover the everyday lives and work of artists and creatives, from grant writing to social media marketing, and portfolio reviews from professionals in many fields.
The School's public exhibition spaces—both SAIC Galleries and the two student-run SITE Galleries — offer opportunities for you to gain professional experience as an artist or curator. You'll learn how to write an exhibition proposal, install and light art and design work, maybe even run a gallery. Take a look at some recent shows.