Candace Smith ’05--who majored in English and textual studies, with a minor in creative writing and theater--knows a thing about keeping irons in the fire. She is a successful freelance writer and actress. This jack-of-all-trades attributes much of her success to her liberal arts training within the College of Arts and Sciences.
The Philadelphia native made a pact to herself, before attending Syracuse University, that she would not give up her dream of working as an actress. Smith chose English and textual studies, after much thought and deliberation. She says that her decision has not only made her a better actress, but also a better writer.
“I was able to take some amazing drama classes in the College of Visual and Performing Arts,” says Smith, who now resides in New York City. “But it was my English training that helped me craft a career in freelance journalism.”
After Syracuse University, Smith earned a master’s degree in arts management from City University London. She says that, despite being abroad during the onset of the Great Recession, her Syracuse University training served her well – and has continued to do so.
“Employers are starving for people who can write well,” Smith says. “The variety of classes I took as a student in the College of Arts and Sciences has served my academic and professional lives in ways that I couldn’t have predicted until after graduation.”
Case in point: Smith’s business and entertainment stories have been picked up by such websites as madamenoire.com and styleblazer.com. Smith also runs a popular lifestyle blog called candacecordelia.com. Meanwhile, she has appeared in a television documentary about the yellow fever that aired on Philadelphia’s local ABC affiliate, industrial videos, commercial print advertisements, web series, and short and indie films.
Smith remains grateful to the many people at Syracuse University who helped her grow as a person and as a professional. In a field where rejections can be harsh and numerous, she encourages people not give up.
“Syracuse University taught me a lot about being resilient and pushing past my comfort zone, whether battling Upstate New York’s snowy weather or dealing with difficult editors and casting directors,” she says. “You have to keep moving forward.”