The common thread of my background, my life, has been the recurring instinctual need to be creative. I found marketing to be my avenue to ensuring this need was met and that creativity could be included in my everyday work. I found a love for marketing early-on, with my involvement in DECA (a student business organization) in high school and continuing my involvement in undergrad at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where I earned my bachelor’s in integrated strategic communication and marketing. After graduation, I began my career by moving to the twin cities to tackle an internship at Ecolab and soon after accepted a full-time position – in Ecolab’s Pest Elimination division. I admit, it wasn’t exactly what I imagined my career in marketing to look like, but I kept an open mind and dove into the culture and soaked up all I could about the pest control industry. This unique experience provided me with a foundational grounding of not only marketing, but of large-matrixed organizations, how to work cross-functionally and with stakeholders and overall, a business acumen understanding. I enjoyed my time on the amazing Pest Elimination marketing communications team and had opportunities to work on a variety of initiatives which have molded who I am professionally today. A few of my proud moments include presenting alongside my marketing partner at our annual sales meeting in 2021, being a part of the project team that was awarded the 2021 Marketing Excellence Award and being the writer for multiple positioning and messaging projects.
Although I had the ability to be creative and strategic during my time at Ecolab, there was something missing. My childhood was filled with dance, live music, attending musicals and plays which translated into more dance, more live music, more musicals and plays as an adult. I loved being a patron, and I wanted to make it my livelihood, but I didn’t know how. March 2020 was the inflection point to simply figure it out. After DM-ing many arts professionals in the twin cities on LinkedIn, I eventually decided that it would be best for me to go to grad school for arts administration in order to enter the industry with a strong arts understanding. If I was going to go to grad school for anything, it was going to be for this specialization.
I came across the Bolz Center through a simple Google search. After a visit to campus to meet with Becky Buckman, everything I was thinking was reconfirmed and has been since that day. As a Wisconsinite, I admit I was also awestruck at the idea of being a student in the Wisconsin School of Business. The Bolz Center has provided me with the deep understanding of the arts that I was looking for, as well as opportunities to continue developing my business skills – a perfect combination of my passions and experience. Being surrounded by like-minded individuals has been a huge positive component of the program for me and I am looking forward to the days when my fellow Bolzies and I have intersections in our work that bring us back together. During this year, I also had the incredible opportunity to work with the marketing team at the Madison Symphony Orchestra and for the first time, apply my marketing skills to an arts organization. The experience has been everything and more and I’m grateful for the opportunity to simply learn from this high-caliber team.
After graduation, I look to bring my skills to the arts industry, specifically performing arts, and make an impact. Thank you to the Bolz Center for providing the academic rigor and professional network that I needed to bridge my career into arts management. I’m excited for what’s to come and I am letting my instincts guide my path forward.