Caroline Neyman

April 22, 2022
Caroline Neyman Photo

Caroline Neyman Photo

B.A., French, 2010

While you were at SSU, did you have an idea of what you’d do after graduation? 

I knew I wanted to go into the event planning industry, but I didn’t know how and when that would happen. It seemed like a far-off dream. I had played around with the idea of becoming an elementary school French teacher while in college, or moving to Paris to become an English teacher or au pair, but life had other plans for me. 

How did your studies or activities at SSU influence your future job choices?  Has your French major helped you in your career?

I was grateful to have been provided an opportunity after college that allowed me to enter the field I am in today. When we have visiting French performers, it is so helpful to be able to interact with them in French. It helps me keep up the language and helps them feel more comfortable at the venue. 

Tell me about your trajectory after SSU, including how you found your various positions.

I was provided an opportunity after graduating to work as part of the opening team at the Green Music Center. I started as the administrative coordinator and am now the operations director. It has been an incredible experience. Over the past ten years, I have been able to help program out seasons, plan and organize events and execute concert operations.

What is working [in your particular job] like?  What challenges or benefits have you found?

It’s exciting. The performing arts industry, especially a performing arts center on a university campus, has this wonderful mix of artist performances and educational/student engagement. I have the privilege of meeting so many performers from around the world, each bringing their own unique story. I’m always learning something new. The Green Music Center is home to major campus events like Commencement. It incredible to be a part of that closing chapter of a students Sonoma State experience. 

The biggest challenge we face and have been facing is how COVID-19 has impacted our industry. It is forever changed, and trying to navigate that has been tricky. 

What advice do you have for current students? 

My advice for current students is to work hard, pursue what you love and what brings you joy, and to keep your eyes open for opportunities in front of you. You may be surprised with where it may take you.

What do you see yourself doing five or ten years from now? 

I love to do 5-year plans (or dreams because you never know where plans will take you)! I see myself still in the performing arts industry. I love the impact it has on the community, and being a small part of that impact.