Colleen Campbell was born and raised in Pompton Lakes, N.J. She attended the University of Michigan, where she received a B.A. in art history in 2008, and began working at Juilliard shortly after graduating from college. She currently lives in Brooklyn.
How long have you worked at Juilliard, and what do you remember about your first day?
I’ve been at Juilliard for almost two years. I didn’t have a computer for my first couple of days here, so I spent all day reading the Federal Student Aid Handbook and our policy and procedures manual. It was enthralling! All joking aside, it did give me good foundational knowledge of all those wacky federal programs that we need to know inside and out.
What job at Juilliard would you like to try out for a day and why?
There are so many! Working in Financial Aid, I’ve always wondered what it’s like to have Riccardo Salmona’s job as the vice president for development and public affairs. With all the work we do to award scholarships, it would be interesting to be involved in the process of procuring those funds.
What is the strangest or most memorable job you’ve ever had and what made it so?
My interest in working in higher education started with being a student orientation leader. At Michigan, the orientation program runs all summer, so for two summers I got to live in a residence hall with 25 other O.L.s, shuttling 150 students per week through a campus tour, placement exams, academic advising, and funtivites. It was frequently exhausting, often strange, and definitely fun.
If out of the blue your boss said to take the day off, what would you do with your free time?
I would definitely sleep in, go for a long run over the Brooklyn Bridge and through Battery Park, and (since we’re talking hypothetical situations) end my day by shelling out $200 on the tasting menu at Per Se or wd~50.
Many Juilliard staff members are also artists. If that applies to you, how do you balance your job and your artistic endeavors? If it doesn’t apply, did you ever consider pursuing an art, and why didn’t you?
I’ve always been more inclined to the visual arts, which is what led me to my college major. Studying art history was my compromise between academia and the applied arts. I did play the clarinet for a hot minute in elementary school, but I quit after figuring out that all I could successfully play was the chorus to “Smoke On the Water.”
What other pursuits are you passionate about?
Since moving to New York I’ve become an avid runner. I completed my first half-marathon in March, am training for another in January, and plan to run the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach in March 2011. I also really love cooking and baking.
Where would you most like to travel and what draws you to that place?
I haven’t had the opportunity to travel much, but I would really love to do the cliché backpack around Europe thing. I wouldn’t have a set schedule; I’d just stay in hostels, see some of the art I studied in college, and eat awesome food.
What might people be surprised to know about you?
I lived on Roosevelt Island for two years. Frequently asked questions include: Where is that? (On the East Side between Manhattan and Queens.) People actually live there? (Obviously.) Did you take that sky-ride thing? (The tram? Heck yes!) Did it ever get stuck? (Only a couple of times, for a couple of minutes.) I’m now attempting a hipper lifestyle in Brooklyn.
What is your favorite thing about New York City?
To give the most banal possible answer: public transportation (don’t tell the M.T.A. I said that). I have never owned a car in my life, and I plan to avoid it for as long as possible.
What book are you reading right now, and what can you tell us about it?
I recently finished The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. It’s about where food in America comes from and how different ways of eating affect the environment, our economy, and our health.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
I’ve had so many students come to me who were frustrated about their finances (especially loans!), but left feeling much better after talking through their situation. Taking ownership of that information now can help alleviate a ton of stress and put you in a better mindset to plan for your future. Don’t hesitate to contact any of the financial aid staff if you have questions or need information!