Josee Coyle

Josee Coyle (BA, 2020)

Why did you choose to pursue your degree at Pitt?

Pitt chose me from the moment I stepped on campus. I loved the environment, the culture and the students! I was so enthralled by the atmosphere that I applied as early as possible to what had become my dream school. I love the combination of urban, suburban, and college town qualities that allow Pitt to feel safe while constantly pushing its students to opportunities outside of their comfort zone.

How did the program help prepare you for life after graduation? 

I was lucky enough (or unlucky enough depending on how you see it) to graduate in the spring of 2020. Nothing could have prepared me for the world I was walking into but my experiences at Pitt created a version of me that was eager to adapt. The fact that Pitt and its theatre program not only allows but encourages students to double major and/or explore different interests meant that I had so many paths to choose from in my quickly changing adult life. My busy and demanding college schedule also meant that I was capable of working hard and working as many jobs as necessary to explore my passions.

What is your current position and how did you get it?

I currently work in a lot of different areas from food service to college preparation to theatrical design to entrepreneurship. Recently I have been active as a lighting designer in the Cleveland area thanks to networking with Pitt faculty. I started as an electrician at Cleveland Play House and now I design for Cleveland Public Theater, French Creek Theater and Dobama Theater on a semi-regular basis. Through that I was able to expand to other theaters in Cleveland and I can continue to build a network of artists.

Do you have any thoughts or advice for current students?

My biggest piece of advice for current students is to trust what life throws at you. I don’t mean that you shouldn’t work hard to make things happen if you want them, just adapt if they don’t happen in the way you expect. There have been so many opportunities that I feel I should have gotten or jobs I feel I should not take that have helped me end up exactly where I needed to be.