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Kefei Zhao Hopes to Turn the Arts from Hobby to Profession

By Jacob Nelson

When Kefei Zhao first realized she was drawn to the arts, she thought it might be a hobby rather than a professional pursuit.

“I was really interested in creative stuff since I was really young,” the MSLCE student explained. She’s specifically attracted to artwork, shows, and film. “It was more like a hobby at first before I really related it to my future career plan.”

However, after studying finance for four years and having several business-related internships, Zhao found the working environment and daily routines were too boring. As a result, she decided that switching to the creative industries might be more interesting “for me to spend the rest of my life.”

Zhao applied to the MSLCE program in hopes it would help her open doors to a profession she had yet to break into on her own.

“There are many programs for the creative industry and also many business schools,” Zhao pointed out, “but there are not many programs combining these two together.”

Zhao hopes the program will help connect her with artists in need of someone with her business acumen. “I hope I can be helpful with their decision-making,” she said.

After she finishes at Northwestern, Zhao aspires to a job within the finance department of a creative company, so that she can help the company make better business decisions while learning about what goes into the creative process.

“I do not have a complete understanding on how an actual creative company works and what they do daily,” Zhao said, “so I want to start from what I am good at first, and then learn more while I am working.”

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