Laila Sahir came to Luther because she had family in the Decorah area. They had told her plenty about Luther’s reputation. “I knew that Luther had an excellent placement rate for their teaching graduates, especially within music education,” she said about her decision. When Laila’s interests shifted from music, she embraced the change. “Challenging and new situations can be pretty uncomfortable, but I believe that [they] hold the most potential for growth.”
“Luther taught me to ask a lot of questions,” she says. Laila was able to carry that skill into her new majors, and life after Luther. She started studying theater and psychology, knowing Luther’s liberal arts education made her first year in college a success.
“The experiences that had the most impact on me were the ones where I was forced to confront new challenges in some way,” Laila says. One such challenge was her senior project. Laila directed the VPA’s Spring 2018 production of Marie Antionette. She had to put herself aside each day as she stood in front of a cast and crew awaiting her instruction. It was a very vulnerable position to be in, but she learned how to “own her mistakes in front of [her] peers and to resolve conflicts as they came up.” Laila considers both skills to be extremely valuable in the work she has done since graduating.
As challenging as it was, it wasn’t without reward. “Watching the show on opening night was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my entire collegiate career,” Laila remembers. “I was so proud of the work that my team had put together, and knowing I was part of making that work happen was really special.” She had other opportunities for theater management at Luther as well. She spent her junior and senior years and the Managing Director and Artistic Director of the student-led SPIN Theater Company.
Laila also spent her time in the Web Content Bureau and as a Production Manager for the Dance Program. She found it “was wonderful experience to have graduating from school and made me competitive for more jobs from the get-go.”
Laila left Luther College ready to take her skills and apply them to her career. She has been able to use not only her theater background, but her leadership and administrative experience as well. She is an ACT and LSAT instructor at Kaplan Test Prep, and a School Communications Representative at the National Theater for Children. Laila is also a cast member on Cabal, an interactive theater experience with Walking Shadow Theater Company. Laila reflected, “I think my career path is still making itself clear to me. I’m only a couple of years out of school, and my work life right now is incredibly diverse.” Laila is able to pursue her love of education and the arts, fully prepared for any challenges that may come her way.