A young woman sitting in front of a clothes rack with colorful costumes

Spartans at Work: At the San Jose Rep, "I Get to Work With Kids and See Their Imagination Grow"

By Sarah Kyo, Web Communications Specialist

(This summer, SJSU Today hit the road, visiting students and recent grads on the job across the country and around the world. Our Spartans at Work series continues with theatre arts and African-American studies alumna Oluchi Nwokocha.)

Where will an SJSU degree take you? How about helping you develop your career, while you develop others? As an outreach assistant, Oluchi Nwokocha, ’11 Theatre Arts and African-American Studies, helped the San Jose Repertory Theatre make connections with the diverse community that it serves.

Besides responsibilities such as writing grant proposals, designing brochures or supporting various programs, Nwokocha interacted with kids and teenagers through the Creative Dramatics Summer Workshops. This summer camp teaches young participants about improvisation and developing a story for a play, culminating in a performance for family and friends.

“With the process that we do here, we get to really create and play and watch them learn and express themselves,” Nwokocha said. “It’s really cool. I really like that. And I work at a theater. How awesome is that?”

What started as a 2011 internship for the fresh Spartan graduate became a job and a chance to learn about behind-the-scenes work of running a theater, a complement to her acting skills. Observing actors on stage performing their craft was an added bonus.

In a role that is all about making connections, Nwokocha heard about this opportunity at the Rep, thanks to an announcement from one of her SJSU professors.

Her boss at the Rep provided feedback when she applied for graduate school, which is where Nwokocha is heading to this fall to earn a master of fine art in theatre from the University of Florida.

“Networking is really huge in my business,” she said. “It’s more of regardless of talent or what you look like, it’s more of who you know that helps you get your foot in the door, and I can say that’s definitely the case with me.”