By Benjamin Levine
The MSLCE program’s emphasis on networking and broad understanding of the creative industries culminates with the annual trek to one of the major entertainment centers of the country.
Half of the cohort that went to New York City, and met with a wide variety of companies and alumni associated with creative work to see the way these industries thrive in the Big Apple. From selling ancient Greek art to coordinating interactive exhibits at the Museum of Modern art, the trek exposed students to the ways the program’s coursework can be applied to the real world.
Mornings in New York began with breakfast at the hotel with Northwestern alum. These lively interactions were more free form, with alumni explaining a bit about what they do and what they think is important to know when starting a career followed by open questions from the students. Alex White, the founder of Pandora-owned Next Big Sound, offered great insights into how technology affects the music industry as well as important lessons on managing money and building a great team. Facebook’s Brand Strategy Lead, Chris Meador, gave practical advice for networking and maintaining a fearless attitude towards growth and change by having a constant curiosity and willingness to learn. Debbie Bisno, a Broadway Producer, told the serendipitous story of how she found an angel investor while waitressing, and gave tips on how to approach the often-difficult task of fundraising.
Students spent afternoons visiting prominent companies in the creative sector. Marketing agencies Mother, Ogilvy, and Jack Morton all presented students their philosophies towards marketing and the workplace, and showed the creativity and dynamic teams that go into their projects. Christie’s Auction House was a highlight of the trip: students had the opportunity to tour the preparation areas and see beautiful works of art, including an ancient Egyptian hand-carved statue. Students also got to sit in on a live auction and see the fast pace and fast money of the art world. The cohort then met with Sarah Kennedy, the leader of the educational initiatives at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and learned about the inclusive nature of the museum and how they enrich the community through their programs.
The MSLCE trek to NYC was a great opportunity to meet new professionals and explore the many options available in the creative fields. It was a fun time for the group to bond while exploring the city and also to refine their understanding of what work in these fields requires. This trek gave context to everything learned in the classroom and is one that the students won’t soon forget.