SAEM Alumna Lydia Grimenstein Shares Her Passion for Dance at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Alumni Profile
Meet Lydia Grimenstein '20
- Job Title & Employer
- Assistant Manager of Patron Services, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
- Sports, Arts & Entertainment Management
- December 2020
- Transfer Trustee Scholarship, Folds of Honor Higher Education Scholarship
- St. Louis, Mo.
- Now Living In
- Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Dream Job
- Executive director of an arts nonprofit
- Hobbies & Interests
Arts and crafts, coffee and decorating a fictional Mediterranean house on Pinterest
"What drew me instantly to Point Park were its downtown location and ties to surrounding arts organizations. The SAEM program teaches you the fundamentals of business, but they also allow you to use what you’ve learned to branch out into a field that interests you."
What do you do at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre?
The most important aspect of my job is acting as a customer service liaison for our patrons and donors. I process ticket and subscription sales and update constituent accounts in our Tessitura database. I manage the telefunding and telemarketing call rooms for the theatre, through which we contact an average of 1,500 prospects per campaign. I write and track all donation acknowledgements, and I assist at performances and special events when needed. A typical work week varies depending on marketing and development needs, especially now during the pandemic. I’m used to wearing multiple hats at once, which is a necessary skill to adopt when working for a nonprofit.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I like knowing that I’m helping to bring art to people and that I’m sharing my passion for ballet with others around me. Growing up as a dancer, I never imagined I’d find myself working behind the scenes instead of performing on the stage. My job allows me to express my deep adoration for ballet in a way I never thought possible. Whether I’m booking someone into a theater seat, giving an informal backstage tour or talking someone’s ear off about pointe shoes, I am connecting others to this beautiful, disciplined art form that has been a part of my life for 17 years. I’m sharing, learning and becoming more confident in my abilities to grow further in arts management, and that is what I’m most thankful for out of this job.
What did you like about the Sports, Arts & Entertainment Management program?
What drew me instantly to Point Park were its downtown location and ties to surrounding arts organizations. The SAEM program teaches you the fundamentals of business, but they also allow you to use what you’ve learned to branch out into a field that interests you. In one of my first SAEM classes, I got the chance to shadow a professional working in arts management. From there, I was offered an internship. It was the start to what I know will be a long and fruitful career working with nonprofits. The SAEM program is designed to guide you from day one toward finding what you like doing in these fields, and then getting you there when you graduate.
What are some of your favorite Point Park memories?
Sitting in the Point Perk coffee shop and drinking way too many café mochas while my laptop overloads submitting papers to Schoology. I worked a lot during my time at Point Park so most of my memories are of me rushing from the West Penn building to the bus stop to get to my internships. In all the rush, the coffee comas and the piles of notes from my classes, I’ll always remember the happiness I felt because I could tell I was finding myself in my career. That feeling is my favorite Point Park memory and the one thing I’ll look back on the most during my time at the University.
How are you applying what you learned at Point Park to your job at the theatre?
Each professor and each class at Point Park taught me something different. Confidence in the workplace, negotiation tactics, predicting audiences and grant writing were just a few topics I learned and have used in my work. Point Park taught me how to approach an organization from multiple points of view, how to analyze a department or project and how to apply my individual skills to any job. I use what I learned in my marketing courses daily because of the nature of my job. Through those classes, I learned how to sell a product by attracting different demographics, promoting information through various media channels and how to create a strategic, long-term plan for all of it.
What do you want prospective students to know about the SAEM program?
The SAEM program will present you with any door into any field you could want. You just have to take the initiative to open it. Do that internship, volunteer with that organization, ask around for opportunities to learn and get your name out there. Real-world experience makes all the difference when you’re starting out. Sometimes, you won’t know if you’ll like a department or concentration unless you go out and experience it for yourself.
There is no right or wrong way to start a career in this field, which is the beauty of it. Doing what feels right to you in the moment will only help you in the long run to realize your potential and what you want from your career. I started as a ballet major. I knew I wanted the arts to be a part of my career, but I didn’t know exactly how or in what way until I heard there was something called arts management. The SAEM program helped me figure out the logistics of starting a career working behind the scenes of the arts. They helped me find my niche, and they can help you find yours, too. It all just starts when you open one of those doors.