“Yes, and” is the foundation of improv comedy. This rule-of-thumb suggests participants accept what others have stated and then expand on that line of thinking. At The Second City in Chicago, where well-known comedians such as Steve Carell, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler got their start, the performers are not the only ones applying this principle in their daily work. Abbey Bumbledare ’18 applies the “yes, and” rule as the marketing coordinator at Second City Works (SCW) in Chicago, which is the professional services arm of The Second City comedy theatre. “The same guiding principles that make the shows at The Second City so successful guide the work and culture of Second City Works,” she said. “Every idea is treated as viable and everyone is encouraged to collaborate equally, regardless of seniority.”
Bumbledare coordinates SCW events, creates website content, manages social media, and hires talent for marketing events. A large portion of her job is managing relationships. “Often I am the main point of contact for a performer or venue space, so my job is to make sure everyone has what they need to make their event successful,” Bumbledare said. “I am also the project manager for two upcoming internal initiatives at SCW, so I’ve had a great time connecting with the broader SCW team outside the marketing department.”
Even before working at SCW, Bumbledare applied the “yes, and” principle to her job search; she took what she was given in terms of career opportunities and expanded on them to get where she is now. As a marketing major and theatre minor during her time at the University of Findlay, Bumbledare wanted to find a job that blended her interests, but she knew how competitive the job market is for a specialized industry like theatre. With this in mind, she moved to Chicago after graduating in order to best position herself, and found a full-time marketing position at a law firm in town. She later applied for the SCW marketing coordinator position on LinkedIn. “I credit my time in the Findlay Theatre Program with giving me the confidence to take that risk, moving to a new city, in order to position myself for my dream job,” she said. Many of the skills she learned while working at the law firm directly parlayed into the SCW position. Law firm marketing is very event focused and she now works at the business to business branch of Second City which specializes in professional development, meetings and events, and content creation.
Bumbledare’s time at the University of Findlay provided her with a network of mentors who helped her get where she is today. She credits assistant professor of theatre Meriah Sage, M.F.A., and professor of business Chris Ward, Ed.D., with helping her figure out how to combine her passions of theatre and marketing. “Findlay education is different than any other college or university because your education is customizable with a small-campus culture,” Bumbledare said. “Students have one-on-one access to professors who get to know you personally and are committed to helping you succeed.”
Bumbledare has three pieces of advice for current Findlay students:
Get to know your professors. She advises students to communicate their career goals with their professors and be active participants in class because collecting internship applications, letters of recommendation, and career planning is easier with their guidance and support.
- Intern early and often. Her first internship was at a local children’s theatre, which helped her obtain an internship in Chicago at Steppenwolf Theatre, which then helped her land the job at SCW. “Every internship is a building block to the next and to get highly competitive internships and jobs, you’ll need to start building a resume early,” Bumbledare said. “Start building a resume that reflects your career goals before you graduate.”
- Schedule meetings at the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD). CCPD is an on-campus resource dedicated to actively engaging Findlay students and alumni by guiding, educating, and empowering them through experiential learning and professional development opportunities. CCPD helps students with resumes, cover letters, financial aid for unpaid internships, and career advice. “I met with my CCPD advisor Alexis Binder once a semester to update my resume and the entire team is a great resource for any student looking for career support,” she said. “Everyone should be setting up meetings there.”
At the University of Findlay, the career path possibilities for students are endless. Students can choose a unique blend of majors and minors to provide them with the skillsets necessary to get them where they want to go in their careers. In Bumbledare’s case, she was able to major in marketing and minor in theatre, all while receiving individualized attention from faculty in both departments, ultimately landing a job at one of the most well-known comedy theaters in America. Whatever a student’s ideal career path is, Findlay is committed to helping them achieve a meaningful life and productive career. To learn more about the Theatre Program visit www.findlay.edu/theatre, and to learn more about the College of Business visit www.findlay.edu/business.