Insightful experience at GenHERation discovery days

BFA student Erin McKay ‘18 in 2016 gained first-hand insight into how her degree in the arts would help open doors to the corporate world.

Erin, who is enrolled in the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA program at Dominican, spent a day meeting with female executives at some of the country’s most innovative companies as part of GenHERation Discovery Days. These immersive day trips are organized by interactive media company GenHERation to give female students a behind-the-scenes look at top companies while participating in skill-building simulations.

Erin’s agenda included IDEO, Twitter, Sephora, and Adobe.

“It was an incredible day,” recalled Erin. “This was a rewarding opportunity to meet strong, problem-solving, and motivated women.”

Her key takeaway: Your life does not always follow the path you planned for it to take.

“Earning a degree in the arts does not limit you in the business world; it strengthens you,” Erin said.

Erin’s observations were echoed by a survey conducted by the Association of American Colleges & Universities showing that employers favor liberal and applied learning for college students. Nearly all employers (93 percent) surveyed agreed that for career success, “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than his or her undergraduate major.”

Among the inspirational women Erin met on the tour was a Manager of Programs and Business Operations on the Adobe Research team whose university degree focused on singing. Today she is both a leader at Adobe and an opera singer in San Francisco.

“She never took a computer science course. Instead, she was confident, well-spoken, a quick learner, and her own self-advocate,” said Erin. “Women can have it all: a family and a fulfilling career.”

In addition to her work in the BFA, Erin served as a delegate to College Debate 2016, Dominican's national voter education initiative. After attending planning sessions at Dominican in June of 2016, a nationwide network of student delegates spent the summer posting, tweeting, sharing, and snapping the issues that matter most to young voters.

In September that year, the College Debate 2016 delegates gathered for the College Convention in order to share their work and create the College Debate 2016 Platform. The Platform listed issues that resonate with college students and needed to be addressed by the next president and other elected officials.  After articulating their Platform, delegates participated in a CD16 Town Hall to determine the topics they wanted the candidates to discuss at the 2016 presidential debates.

Erin's top issue focused on education in the United States.

“The K-12 public education system fails to ensure diversity and to support immigrant, minority, marginalized, and poverty-level students," she said. "Many students who hoped to attend college settle for and simply accept futures without further education. In order to unlock a thriving society, high-aspiring, well-informed, and critically thinking citizens are essential."


August 8, 2016