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My Surprise (and Lucky!) Encounter with the Bolz Center

By Shi (Steve) Dong

December 1, 2022

I am an international student from China and earned my bachelor’s degree from Nanjing University this past summer. I don’t remember exactly how I heard about the Bolz Center. However, I clearly remember that after learning more about the Master of Arts-Business: Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership Program, I immediately made up my mind to come to Wisconsin.

In my undergraduate studies, I majored in Theater and Film Studies, minored in Financial Engineering, and worked on several theater productions in the University Theater. Since then, I have had a clear dream of building my own theater company. However, as an art student, I did not have the knowledge and experience needed to start my own company. Fortunately, Bolz Center is here to help me.

All the knowledge I am learning and all the experience I am gaining in the Bolz Center is helping me get one step closer to my dream. This year I am completing my Applied Learning Placement at the Wisconsin Union Theater as a General Management Assistant, working on a consulting project with Bayview Foundation, and serving as a non-voting board member for Leading Change-Africa. In China, I was always present in the theatre as an artist. Now, working in the theater as a management assistant, I have learned how a theater operates, how to communicate with clients, and how to use available resources to meet the needs of my clients. I have also applied what I learned in the Bolz Center courses to my work. I used the business model canvas and Porter Five Forces model that I learned in the consulting course to analyze the Wisconsin Union Theater. Also, I applied what I learned about board structure in the nonprofit course to the board work of Leading Change-Africa.

Now that my first semester in the Bolz Center is almost finished, I am certain that I can get closer and closer to my dream with the skills gained through classes and applied learning opportunities. I look forward to seeing where this journey in Bolz Center will lead me!