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World Business Chicago Creative Director Jake Trussell Talks Side Hustles, Brands, and Job Creation

By: Nick Roman

Picture a DJ, part-time web designer, musician, and record label owner in your mind.  You probably did not picture a clean-shaven businessman suited up to create jobs in Chicago’s global landscape.  However, Creative Director Jake Trussell is a comprehensive leader in today’s sector through his vast background with side hustles, which ultimately led him to his role with World Business Chicago.  Trussell recently sat down with the Northwestern community to discuss career trajectories, initiatives of World Business Chicago, and how to navigate the professional waters of creative enterprises.

The talk began with Trussell’s unexpected twists and turns of his career, and how he never thought he would be in the position he is in today.  An alumnus of Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), Trussell began his career designing the college’s first website.  To feed his soul as a musician, he also balanced side hustles as a DJ and served other various roles in the recording music industry.  Despite a conglomeration of professional experience, a common theme ran through: Trussell was an expert in managing brands that are specific and unique to creative industries, making the transition to World Business Chicago an ideal fit.

World Business Chicago supports the city as a cultural hub for economic prosperity through job creation and promoting businesses.  Through connecting with international Chicagoans and partnerships all over the world, World Business Chicago recognizes the civic value pertaining to Chicago’s diverse ecosystem.  World Business Chicago supports global aspects of the city and job creation by supporting new businesses through various initiatives.  One initiative led by Trussell is ChicagoMade, an annual event featuring brand ambassadors that demonstrate the hardworking lifestyle of artists.  Notable guests at ChicagoMade range from Mayor Rahm Emanuel to Chance the Rapper.

Although the success of ChicagoMade and subsequent initiatives support World Business Chicago’s mission, Trussell mentioned that there is still a long way to go in regard to tapping all of Chicago’s neighborhoods.  He concluded with encouraging Northwestern students to explore new ideas, promote our own aspirations, and use all creative experiences to support our personal brands.