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MSLCE Student Moves Between Science and Art

By Jacob Nelson

Danielle Pierre had a feeling she’d end up in graduate school, but even she was a bit surprised that the program she chose was the Masters in Science for Leadership in Creative Enterprises (MSLCE) program.

After graduating from Northwestern with a psychology and communications sciences and disorders double major, Pierre decided to take a break from pursuing science and research. She thought she would get a job at an art gallery or an ad agency for a period of time before resuming her research track.

“Then this program kind of stumbled into my lap,” Pierre said. She had worked at Northwestern’s radio station and worked as a visitation officer at the Block Museum, and those experiences motivated her to apply to this master’s program so she could pursue a creative career more seriously.

“If I was interested in pursuing what I was pursuing at the time, I could get a leg up from this program and maybe do the creative industries long term.”

Pierre said her friends and family were surprised by her decision to apply to MSLCE, a one-year program designed to help students develop the business skills and industry contacts needed to thrive in a creative environment. However, she always thought of herself as someone interested in the arts — she just didn’t know how to get into it professionally.

It didn’t feel like I had the business know how,” Pierre said, “but then the program came along and it would give me the business skills to allow me to feel comfortable and confident entering an industry I didn’t feel comfortable entering before.”

Pierre is uncertain where she wants this program to ultimately take her, but she is hoping its somewhere in the realm of music or contemporary art. She’s looking forward to the internship that is built into the curriculum as an opportunity to see firsthand what that sort of career will look like.

She’s also hopeful that, whatever that job may be, it allows her to combine the skills she learned as an undergraduate with the new ones she’s learning now.

“I think that science is an art,” she said. “Just the connecting threads between what I studied and what I’m studying now is just curiosity and a desire to make these things accessible to other people.”