Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Getting to Know SNL Writing Staff: An Interview with Kaitlin Fitzsimons

Tell us about your educational and work experiences before SNL

I graduated from Providence College with a Dual B.A. degree in English and Theatre, and a minor in Music. Some of my peers jokingly referred to my selected areas of study as “the trifecta of impracticality,” but I was confident that a liberal arts education would yield a career path that was suited to my interests. Throughout college, I worked a myriad of jobs including camp counselor, administrative assistant, resident assistant, cashier, and skate guard at an outdoor recreational ice rink. My first post-graduate job was fundraising and selling tickets for a regional Chicago theatre. While I never expected to be in a sales position, this job certainly taught me to be more assertive in order to close a sale, and also afforded me the opportunity to enjoy free live theatre. My position at SNL has allowed me to combine my passion for learning and people, and for that I am very thankful.

What attracted you to DePaul and SNL?

I am a huge advocate of higher education and lifelong learning. My time in college was so rewarding, and I believe everyone should have the opportunity to learn, write, debate, philosophize, engage in meaningful conversations, experience different cultures, interpret classic texts and works of art, and contribute to the newest research and technology available to us today. Through its focus on experiential learning and independent learning projects, the School for New Learning reaffirms that learning opportunities are all around us, every day. SNL’s extensive online course offerings classes further support the notion that not only does learning extend outside the classroom, but also across state lines. I love that my job supports the learning process, even in a small way.

What is your role with the SNL Writing Program?

I offer administrative support for the SNL Writing program by managing the email account. I am the first responder to all student and faculty correspondence regarding SNL Writing events, the SNL Writing Showcase, and writing placement essays. I also contribute to the two writing blogs, SNL Writing News and Writing at SNL. My other responsibilities for the Writing program include marketing and planning SNL writing events, compiling and analyzing writing placement data, and creating a writing resource packet for new SNL students which is distributed at SNL events.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

Since I am not currently participating in any theatrical endeavors, I make it a point to see as much live theatre as my free time and budget allow. Additionally, I love going to concerts and enjoy reading, writing, running, watching movies, baking, and participating in my faith community. As this will be my first summer living in Chicago, I’m very excited to play on a summer softball league, take advantage of the many festivals and beaches here, and just explore the city!

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