Tag: #VPA

YAP Tracker: A useful tool for Undergraduate Vocalists

YAP Tracker is a useful tool for looking for young artist, summer opera programs, and competitions! You may think you don’t have any use for YAP Tracker in your undergraduate experience, but it is actually a very useful tool, and you can do a lot with just a free account.

For undergraduate students, you can apply for many different summer opera programs all in one place! You can upload your repertoire to your video library, upload headshots and your resume to your profile, and select them to send to multiple applications. You don’t have to worry about searching the files on your computer every time to find that one aria you really want to showcase, because YAP Tracker keeps all the videos you uploaded saved to your profile to use again and again. You can even safely pay for application and audition fees.

YAP Tracker also tells you when your applications are received, being reviewed, and if offers were extended. You can also archive past applications of opportunities you’ve attended to see exactly what application materials to use in the future. 

You can also pay for a premium account. This gives you access to even more exclusive opportunities, extra space to save more video files, get notifications for upcoming deadlines, and tracking tools. Currently, the rate for a “full access” account is $59 for a year or $99 for two years.

Overall, YAP Tracker is a tool that every singer should learn how to use. Many opportunities are posted on it every week, and it is a great place to keep all of your application materials. This is one tool that classical singers are expected to use frequently, and there is no better time to start than now!

Create your Free YAP account today: YAP Tracker

Sample Behavioral Interview Questions

It’s time to practice for your interview! While knowing what experiences you have had in the past is very important, knowing how to answer behavioral questions can make the difference between being hired or not. Behavioral questions are designed to learn how you would respond to a specific workplace situation, and how you solve problems to achieve a successful outcome. Here is a list of possible behavioral questions that they could ask you divided into different sections.


With teamwork behavioral questions, interviewers get a sense of whether or not you like working on a team, how well you work in groups, and what role you tend to take on a team project (leader, mediator, follower..). These questions also show whether you are easy to get along with, which is important in almost any work environment.

  • Talk about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very different from yours
  • Give me an example of a time you faced a conflict while working on a team. How did you handle that?
  • Tell me about a time you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague

Client-facing skills

Client-facing skills behavioral questions give interviewers a way to see how you react to different kind of clients. What would happen if the client is frustrated, or if there a large number of clients waiting and how you can handle that pressure.

  • Tell me about a time when you made sure a customer was pleased with your service
  • Describe a time when you had to interact with a difficult client. What was the situation, and how did you handle it?
  • When you’re working with a large number of customers, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. How do you go about prioritizing your customers’ needs?

Ability to adapt

The ability to adapt is a very important soft skill that is required in any job. The way you answer these questions will give a sense of how you are able to adapt in a new working space and how flexible you are to change and adjust to new situations.

  • Tell me about a time you were under a lot of pressure. What was going on, and how did you get through it?
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to think on your feet in order to delicately extricate yourself from a difficult or awkward situation
  • Tell me about a time you failed. How did you deal with the situation?
  • Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure

Time management skills

Time management is another very important skill to have. When one of these questions is asked, make sure you are clear about how you managed your time carefully, what tools did you use and why did those tools help.

  • Describe a long term project you managed. How did you keep everything moving along in a timely manner?
  • Tell me about a time you set a goal for yourself. How did you go about ensuring that you would meet your objective?
  • Tell me about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities

Communication skills

The ability to communicate is closely evaluated in a job interview. Some recruiters will not ask questions directly related to communication in the interview but just see how the candidate is able to communicate during the interview. However, other recruiters might ask you behavioral questions that show the candidate’s communication skills with a real life example.

  • Tell me about a successful presentation you gave and why you think it was a hit
  • Tell me about a time you had to explain something fairly complex to a frustrated client. How did you handle the situation?

Motivation and values

Motivation and values behavioral questions are asked to see what values and what kind of personality the candidate has. It is important to always be honest and show how your personality could be an asset for the company. 

  • Tell me about a time you saw a problem and took the initiative to solve it rather than waiting for someone else to do it
  • Tell me about your proudest accomplishment in work or school
  • Tell me about a mistake you’ve made. How did you handle it?
  • Tell me about a challenging situation you overcame at work
  • Tell me five things that you are NOT

How to prepare to answer behavioral questions

Read the job description carefully. Make a list of the top skills or qualifications it calls for. Think of a story that demonstrates your ability in each area. Following the STAR technique, write your stories down, including the situation, task, action and result. Then, practice saying them out loud several times. Your answers should only take about 1 ½ to 3 minutes. In order to make a good impression, telling stories that are related to each one of these questions is crucial. Telling stories is the best way to be remembered by the recruiter.

Practice is the best way to succeed at behavioral interviews. If you would like to practice doing behavioral interviews, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me (oliver.decroock@lawrence.edu) or Grace Kutney (grace.kutney@lawrence.edu).

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Career Peer Educator. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Sounds of Lawrence University (SOLU)

For the students:

Finding gigs in Appleton has never been easier! Introducing Sounds of Lawrence University, a student-run gigging service made to connect student musicians to the city of Appleton. Founder and President Alex Lewis says,

 “Sounds of Lawrence University is a student-run musician booking service that contracts Lawrence University student musicians to play gigs in the Appleton and surrounding areas. An Executive Board takes care of management, outreach, marketing, contracting, and other needs so that the musicians can focus on their craft and creating the best experience possible for their clients!”

If you are a student looking to get on the call-list for gigs, please fill out this form and you will be put on SOLU’s roster. If you have any questions, please email solu@lawrence.edu.

For the community:

Looking for musicians for your upcoming event? Whether it’s weddings, church services, or even dinner parties, Sounds of Lawrence University is the right place for you to find passionate musicians. With multiple 5 star reviews, SOLU strives to make sure that your event or big day is as perfect and stress-free as possible.

They offer string quartets, solo instruments, small wind ensembles, small jazz ensembles, vocal ensembles, and much more!

Have an event coming up? Liven it up with some live music from Lawrence’s musicians! Check out the website or email solu@lawrence.edu if you are interested in hiring musicians!

#VPA Summer Opportunity Guide


One of the hardest parts about pursuing a summer program in any field is choosing one that is right for you. Musicians have many different types of summer opportunities they can apply for. Whether it be playing in a summer festival, performing in a summer opera program, or interning in arts administration the possibilities are endless. 

  1. Location:

First you will want to choose where you want to complete your summer program. Do you want to stay within driving distance of your home town to spend time with your family over the summer? Do you want to travel to a new city you’ve been wanting to explore? Maybe you just want to live in Appleton and live on campus for the summer? There are many different options, however, location is the first thing you should consider before searching for summer opportunities since it will narrow down your search by a lot. Some summer music festivals and programs actually provide housing, so be sure to look into this as well! 

  1.  Paid vs. Unpaid vs. Pay to Play/Sing

The next thing to consider while searching for summer opportunities is if you will be paid for your work, unpaid, or if you will have to pay for the experience. Sadly, many arts internships are unpaid, however, here at Lawrence we have many funding opportunities for internships. Many music festivals and summer programs are “Pay to Play” or “Pay to Sing”, meaning you actually pay them for the opportunity. This cost usually includes a place to stay and tuition. Very rarely does it include music printing, transportation, and meals but some do. Many of these opportunities offer scholarships as well as work study.

  1. What do YOU want to gain from the experience

There are so many different experiences that look amazing on a resume. Though some opportunities are at more “prestigious” places that doesn’t mean you wont get equally as good opportunities at smaller programs. An Arts Administration Internship at the Lyric Opera of Chicago can be equally as rewarding as an Arts Administration internship at Opera Carolina. If you find an opportunity or program that looks like something you would like to do, apply for it! It doesn’t need to be at a big name company for the experience to be rewarding. Find one that works best for you and what you would like to do with your career. 


Well, you’ve narrowed down summer opportunities you would like to apply for… now what? Next it is time to prepare and send in your application. Depending on how many opportunities you are applying for, this could take awhile so be sure you have your deadlines in order before diving in.

  1. Audition Prep

Many summer programs require an entrance audition. Sometimes these may be posted by video, or they have regional and on site auditions. It is important to know what repertoire you should prepare for your recording or in-person audition ahead of time so you can have enough time to practice them efficiently.

Tip: Find out what teachers/coaches will be at the particular program you are applying for, and schedule a lesson with them! Often times teachers give student discounts, and having a lesson or coaching with them can make them remember you once they see your audition.

  1. Application Materials

Most internships and programs require you to submit a resume. For summer music programs or festivals this resume will most likely be a Performance Resume. Whereas if you are applying for an internship or fellowship it will be a Chronological Resume. If you need resume help check out our article here or create an appointment at the career center and we can get you started! You may also need to create a cover letter to go along with your application, you can see a sample cover letter here. Be sure to triple check deadlines in order to get your materials in on time! 

  1. Gather References

References get handed in with your other application materials, however, they require a little more explaining. Many opportunities require you to list references for the company to reach out to to learn more about you. Some opportunities require you to list your academic advisor or current employer, but many leave it up to you who you want to list. We suggest listing any teachers, current or past employers who know you and your work ethic very well. 

  1. Interview

Very rarely do summer music programs and festivals require an interview, especially if an entrance audition is required. However, if you are applying for an arts internship or fellowship you will most likely be asked to do an interview after they review your materials. Don’t stress! Interviews can be scary but once you get the hang of them they are a breeze. If you are feeling nervous, set up an appointment with us at the Career Center and we can research the position you will be interviewing for and conduct a mock interview for you to practice. You can also do the same thing with a friend or two if you need the extra help. 

Career Spotlights: Product Manager

Interested in pursuing a career as a Product Manager? Read and find out more information about what a career as a Product Manager will look like!

Job Duties

As a Product Manager, your main job is to make strategic decisions related to product management and provide in-depth expertise to improve the product. This profile is one of the most important profiles in every industry, especially in IT and manufacturing companies. A product manager is often considered as a “mini CEO” of a single product as they work closely with marketing, engineering, sales, and support to ensure customer satisfaction goals are met.

Where They Work

The role of Product Manager gained more and more popularity with the growth of technology companies. Based on a Statistic reported by Zippia.com, the biggest percentage of Product Managers work in tech companies and in Fortune 500 companies. However, Product Managers can also be found in other companies in the Manufacturing industry, Finance, Retail, and Health Care.

Working Conditions

As a Product Manager, you will work in a team with many different people to be able to ensure the success of the product. You will often work well over forty-hour weeks, including evenings and weekends. There is a great deal of pressure connected with this job due to numerous deadlines, schedule changes, and regular meetings with other managers. Many product managers must travel frequently throughout the United States and abroad to meet with their clients.

Education and training

Although every company will be different, candidates will usually need a Bachelor’s degree in business or a related field. Based on a report by Zippia.com, 72% of Product Managers have a Bachelor’s Degree, and 17% have a Masters’s Degree. Those who have completed a degree in economics, marketing, communications, or statistics will be preferred. Some companies even require a master’s degree in management. Before becoming the head Product Manager, a candidate will need at least two or three years of experience in the product management field. Other skills required to become a product manager are the following:

  • Business Expertise
  • Leadership Skills
  • Operational Ability
  • Strategic Thinking,
  • Analytical skills
  • Quantitative skills
  • Time Management
  • Negotiating skills

Pay and Benefits

The role of a product manager is one of the highest profiles in a company’s organizational structure (right below the CEO and board of directors). Therefore, the salary to work as a product manager can range from 70k/year in smaller companies to 140k/year in bigger ones. One of the biggest benefits of being promoted as Product Manager is being a step closer to being promoted as CEO of the company.

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Career Peer Educator. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Advancing in the Arts: Interviews with Alumni

When Abbey Atwater ’19 was a Career Peer Educator, she conducted several alumni interviews with Lawrence alumni who have gone on to pursue their Masters degree in an area of the arts. See what they have to say about their experience in graduate school so far, the application/ audition process, and what they hope to do following the completion of their degree!