Check out the new addition to our feature “Alumni in The Field” Ben Shipley, class of 2006!
Ben Shipley 2006
Since graduating from MICA, I’ve done a lot of different things, searching for what I wanted from life and a career. I’ve worked as a display artist for Urban Outfitters. I’ve shot weddings, portraits, and product. I’ve been an art handler, a photo lab tech, a barista, a house painter, a carpenter, and a freelance designer. While all those positions have been fulfilling in different ways, taken me to different places, and taught me different things, I always knew that they were temporary—that I wanted something more from my career. In 2011, I was accepted to the Master’s of Education program at McDaniel College and began the road to becoming an art teacher.
The past two years have been stressful, thrilling, exhausting, and rewarding. I graduated with my Master’s in December of 2012, and spent the spring semester teaching in art classrooms in Howard, Carroll, and Baltimore counties. With strong art skills from MICA, solid teaching preparation from McDaniel, and a semester’s worth of substitute experience, I felt very prepared going into interviews. I went on a ton of interviews over the spring semester and eventually landed my first teaching job—as the art teacher at Hammond Middle School in Howard County, starting this fall.
I’m ecstatic to have gotten a job after years of hard work—both in my grad program and in the various jobs I’ve held since my days at MICA. I don’t regret having been arguably unfocused in my career for the five years between undergrad and grad school; I view those years as preparation and exploration that has helped me build the focus I have today. As a result, I feel much more fulfilled as I embark on this new chapter of my life, and I am so happy to know that I have the opportunity to shape the lives and minds of young people.