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Alumni Success

Emily Ritter, Entertainment Business, 2012

What are you doing now?

I am currently working as the Associate Production Manager on one of Ringling Bros., Barnum and Bailey’s three touring shows (Ringling Bros. is owned by parent company, Feld Entertainment Inc., which produces many touring family entertainment shows such as Disney on Ice, Disney Live, Monster Jam, Marvel Universe Live on Tour, etc.). I started with Ringling two and a half years ago as an event coordinator and have since had the opportunity to work on all three of the touring shows on multiple productions. I have traveled all over the United States and Mexico via the Ringling Bros. circus train and really love what I do.

Why did you choose to get your education from OCU?

I accidentally stumbled upon OCU when I tagged along for a campus visit in high school with a friend of mine. I fell in love with the small campus, the friendly and welcoming staff and student body, and most importantly the Ann Lacey School of American Dance and Arts Management. It is incredibly rare to find a school that is so specifically focused on live entertainment. I wanted to learn the business and the behind the scenes of the entertainment world but wanted more than a regular or generic business degree. I knew I could learn, network, and gain the experiences I needed to successfully enter the world of show business if I came to OCU.

I accidentally stumbled upon OCU when I tagged along for a campus visit in high school with a friend of mine. I fell in love with the small campus, the friendly and welcoming staff and student body, and most importantly the Ann Lacey School of American Dance and Arts Management.

What was your experience in the classroom and on campus?

I had a terrific experience at OCU and can’t imagine choosing to get my degree elsewhere. I met many wonderful friends who I know I will have the rest of my life. I was able to be involved with and eventually lead one of the many student organizations OCU has on campus. Most importantly, I felt more than prepared to enter the workforce once I left OCU with my degree. The skills and knowledge I gained in the classroom were exactly what I needed to be a working professional in my field.

Do you feel like OCU prepared you well for your career? Does anything you learned specifically stick out to you?

I absolutely felt prepared for my career. The EB program is designed to allow students access to the industry from the moment they enter the program. In addition to taking classes, students are involved in workshops and seminars led by professionals in show business. Students are required to work in all of the productions and many outside events so they have the opportunity to gain hands on experience. Students are also tasked with projects very similar to professional projects in the real world. I felt the students that the University attracted were motivated and hard working and always pushing each other to be better. In addition, the University and school have high expectations and standards for its students, which I think make us stand out once we graduate. Of all of the things I learned in school, it has been the skill sets that have stuck with me the most - leadership skills, how to manage people, networking, etc. The Ann Lacey School of American Dance and Arts Management prepared me for the very specific lifestyle that a career in entertainment offers, and I’m really proud to have graduated from OCU.