Amari O’Connor, Theater & Game Design and Development Double Major, Class of 2024

Why did you pick your major?

          Creativity is a skill I have valued my entire life, so being able to pursue meaningful work in a creative field is exactly what I’m looking for. That said, I had a hard time choosing what artistic field I wanted to go into. Theatre was an immediate draw, but I was also considering other visual arts like graphic design or animation. That’s when I found the perfect blend of all three subjects, along with my love for gaming since I was little, game design. After looking at several programs and researching the intersections of both fields, I decided to double major in both my fields of interest: Game Design and Theatre.

 Why do you like it?

            Games and theatre have always been a huge part of my life. They have not only led me to discover a healthy and unique form of self-expression, but to a more holistic view of the world. After years of acting and creation through video games, I found myself wanting to combine the two. I loved writing plays, short stories, or narrative for story-based games. I found myself intrigued by how colorful the world is when looked at through a creative lens, and how much people miss when they are unable to see it in the same way. However, there’s also an element of practicality and logic to the arts that is often overlooked. Quinnipiac has allowed me a unique perspective of study as well. By double majoring, I get to explore the way creative fields overlap and complement each other. Every professor I’ve had has been extremely supportive of the ways I would like to pursue my respective fields, while also introducing me to different concepts of study. I truly believe that the arts have the potential to move society in the right direction, and I’m happy to be moving towards that goal.

Do you have a professional field in mind?

         Partially, yes! I actually have several different career paths in mind that I’m working to narrow down. Though my dream job would be to break into the acting industry, that’s a part of my professional career that could take quite a bit of time. In terms of game design, my goal is to work writing narrative for story-based games or as a concept artist for similar genres. If I do end up going into game design full time, I would also love to work as a voice actor for game characters.

 What internships/research/experiential learning have you engaged in to help clarify areas of interest or prepare for life after QU?

         I have yet to participate in an internship or experiential learning at Quinnipiac, but have seen several programs that I am looking forward to taking advantage of. The game design program has several internships in various locations, as well as various networking opportunities. Similarly, the theatre program has many study abroad/away opportunities that I would love to go on. One specific opportunity that I’d like to participate in is an intensive study away that gives students a conservatory-style acting experience. That said, I am part of the university’s Honors Program, which has been a wonderful experience! 

What advice would you give to a student considering your major at QU?

            Don’t be afraid to have multiple interests and don’t hesitate to reach out to faculty. The school curriculum is very flexible if you inquire about how to do so properly, and the chances of you being able to explore all the fields of study you’re interested in are higher than you may think. It’s always okay to change your major or pick up a minor as you learn more about the subjects you end up studying. I actually recommend taking courses outside of what you may think you’re interested in, you may find an opportunity you never expected to.

By Anna Brogan
Anna Brogan Manager of Client Onboarding