When I first began classes at UW-Madison in 2017, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Now after six years, and six semesters in All-University Strings Orchestra, four apartments, double majors in Art History and Political Science, one term as a Student Council Representative, another on the Student Judiciary, a journey through Israel and Palestine as a member of the UW-Madison Student Leadership Delegation, a winter trip to Argentina and Uruguay to study economic globalization, two certificates in Gender and Women’s Studies and Leadership, and very soon a master’s degree in Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership, I’m still not sure what I’ve gotten myself into.
When it came time for me to decide where to go for graduate school, the only program I was interested in was studying Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership through the Bolz Center for Arts Administration at the Wisconsin School of Business. Having grown up forty-five minutes away, Madison was always a special place to me. My grandma lived near the bread factory on Fair Oaks Avenue, and her house smelled like freshly baked bread in the morning, my grandpa took my brother and I on countless fishing adventures in his boats on Lakes Monona and Mendota, and it’s where I spent most of my Saturdays for a few years in the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras. Both of my grandpas were entrepreneurs, so the Wisconsin School of Business felt like the perfect place to learn some of the things they didn’t get a chance to pass down.
Being able to gain a comprehensive arts and business education in the city of Madison has been an invaluable experience. Throughout the program, I have been exposed to and worked with organizations, programs, and people across the world, spanning industries and focuses to broaden my horizons, but some of the best lessons have been taught right in my own back yard. The chance to work with local organizations like Prairie Music & Arts and the Friends of San Damiano through my non-profit board leadership and impact consulting courses have been as rewarding as they are edifying. Through my applied learning placement with the UW-Madison Division of the Arts, I’m proud to be fostering engagement with the Arts both on UW-Madison’s campus through my work on the Artivism Student Action Program and across the State of Wisconsin as I support the Division’s work through the Baldwin Grant program. With these programs, it has been exciting to connect, engage, and work with individuals and groups to promote the idea of the Arts for Everyone, Everywhere as we work to address the need for social change by equipping artists and audiences with the tools to build a brighter future.
What I loved most about my undergraduate education at UW-Madison, when I studied Art History, Political Science, and Gender and Women’s Studies, were the connections I was able to make between my classes, allowing me to form new ideas and opinions and dig deeper into the information I was provided. As a graduate student, this parallel learning experience has continued, and I’ll always be grateful for having learned lessons that can’t be taught.
My dreams change like the Wisconsin weather, and like a Wisconsin winter, my list of career ideas goes on and on. I have aspirations to be a writer, a designer, an artist, a private secretary, an executive, start my own business(es), or lead my own non-profit. Whatever I end up doing next, I know that the business and life skills, leadership tools, and experiential learning I have gained from my time at the Bolz Center, and the Wisconsin School of Business, will allow me to go out into the world with my head held high, ready and excited for the future.