Students Absorb Company Culture at Leo Burnett

“When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.” – Leo Burnett

If it wasn’t for his optimism, Leo Burnett, the world-renowned advertising agency, would probably not exist today.

MSLCE students recently had the opportunity to visit the Leo Burnett company in downtown Chicago, as part of the quarterly site visit component of the program. Interacting with VP Account Director, Erin Fallon Ingram; SVP Director from the optimization team, Garrick Bradley; and two members of talent management team, students got a feel for the working environment of Leo Burnett. (more…)

Second City Leaders Share Stories, Insights About Chicago Institution with MSLCE Students

By Chad Hewitt

Ask any stranger on the street and they may give you different examples of what Chicago, Illinois is most known for. Some may tell you it’s the Cubs, some may tell you it’s the cold weather, and some may tell you it’s the architecture. For many entertainers and performers however, Chicago is the nation’s capital for comedy and the epicenter is the iconic Second City theatre in the heart of Old Town. Several students in the MSLCE program recently got a chance to sit down with some of the top leaders at the institution where comedy greats like Chris Farley, Tina Fey, and Northwestern alum Stephen Colbert got their start.

The group of students enjoyed an in-depth panel discussion led by Artistic Director Matt Hovde and also including VP of Production Jen Hoyt, VP of Applied Improvisation Kelly Leonard, Head of the Harold Ramis Film School Jack Newell, and head of the Directing Program and Comedy Studies Anne Libera. (more…)

Ogilvy & Mather Advertising President to Speak at Northwestern

By Jacob Nelson

Long before Adam Tucker became the president of one of the most renowned brands in the advertising and marketing world, he was a Northwestern liberal arts undergraduate, majoring in Political Science, struggling to maintain his interest – and his GPA – in his coursework.

“By the time I had gotten through my sophomore year, my grades had become very average and my motivation was quite low,” Tucker said in an interview.

Things got dire enough that Tucker’s parents were called in, and he was tasked with doing some soul-searching to determine whether or not he would remain at Northwestern.

That’s when his journey into advertising began. (more…)

Block Museum Director Lisa Corrin Discusses Creativity with MSLCE Students

By Poorvi Nair

“Do it deeper consistently: make the experience so meaningful it doesn’t matter about numbers. It’s about impact on a very finite group.”

In an inspirational and engaging talk, Lisa Corrin, the Block Museum’s new Ellen Philips Katz director, shared with MSLCE students key insights about what it takes to be a successful CEO in an industry in the creative fields. Addressing herself as a manager of change and a convener rather than the director of the museum, Corrin explained that the job of a CEO was to coach others to be the very best they can. (more…)

Chicago Shakespeare Theater Executive Director Criss Henderson Encourages MSLCE Students to Collaborate, Innovate During Speaker Series Event

By Jacob Nelson

On Feb. 1, Criss Henderson acknowledged a unique quirk of his professional career to an audience of MSLCE students and other members of the Northwestern community: “I have one of the greatest jobs in American theater, but I have one of worst resumes.”

By “worst” Henderson really means “shortest.” That’s because he’s held the same job for the past 28 years as the Executive Director of Chicago Shakespeare Theater. During the MSLCE program’s most recent Speaker Series event, Henderson told the audience how a person with little interest in the world’s most renowned playwright became the head of an organization dedicated to his work, and how he’s managed to keep that work exciting over the course of nearly three decades. (more…)

Kellogg School of Management Faculty David Schonthal and Gregg Latterman Lead Entrepreneurship Workshop for MSLCE Students

By Chad Hewitt

As emerging leaders in their respective fields, students in this year’s MSLCE cohort have a surplus of innovative ideas for new projects and enterprises in the creative industries.

In fact, the winter term’s classes have a significant focus on the work involved in planning for a new business venture, both financially and strategically. The current cohort was recently treated to a daylong entrepreneurial workshop presented by Northwestern University’s own faculty that highlighted the best practices, tools, and common pitfalls of developing an enterprise from an idea to realization. (more…)

Claire Rice Encourages Students to Stand Up for Creativity

By Tate Glover

What comes to mind when you think about the word advocacy?

This is the challenge that Claire Rice, Executive Director of Arts Alliance Illinois, opened with during her visit to MSLCE’s Arts, Public Purpose, and Policy class this past Tuesday. Founded in 1982 to defend public funding for the arts, Arts Alliance Illinois now focuses on statewide civic engagement, arts education, and cultural equity.

In light of the recent recommendations by the national government to defund the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), we spoke at length about the impact of the organization. While the NEA is important, Rice stressed the importance of looking at the whole picture. There are other parts of the Illinois arts infrastructure that are weak or are being threatened that play a much larger part in the lives of local creative professionals. Picking your battles can be just as crucial as fighting them.

One of the big questions we discussed with Rice was how to effectively mobilize people to stand up and defend the arts. Rice emphasized the importance of building relationships and loyalty before asking people to act. If an organization like Arts Alliance Illinois can build stronger relationships with the people it serves, then it will be capable of affecting broader change when policies that support the creative industries are threatened.

Getting people to stand up for the arts also largely depends on how the creative sector is represented. Recently there has been a lot of discussion about the economic impact of the arts, while Rice believes that there may be more power in using stories as motivation. Furthermore, the key to unlocking a deeper interest in protecting the arts lies in listening and finding out how the arts are important not just to yourself, but to the people you are talking to.

As parting words of wisdom, Rice urged students to be active advocates. “What’s your advocacy passion? Pick one thing, get smart about it, and talk to your friends about it.” I certainly left the room feeling engaged and ready to defend my field and chosen career path.

MSLCE Students Visit Lyric Opera of Chicago

By Nick Roman

How many cultural institutions reap the benefits of 45,000 steps of foot traffic every day? Lyric Opera of Chicago is uniquely set apart from other opera and cultural institutions because of its location in the heart of downtown Chicago.

MSLCE students got an exclusive look into the organization on a site visit with Lyric’s top management that included a rare opportunity to see backstage.


MSLCE Students Take the Stage at the 3rd Annual MSLCE Talent Show

y Charlie Wein

Grad school is a lot of work. Essays, group projects, and all manner of research. In between all the reading and writing, it’s important to take time in between to relax, get together with friends, and just maybe even…bust out an impromptu showtune!

All this and more happened on a grand Tuesday night for the 3rd annual MSLCE Talent Show. (more…)

Krizelle Cuevas Aspires to See the Diversity She Grew Up With Reflected in TV and Film

By Jacob Nelson

Krizelle Cuevas’ early encounters with the creative sector mostly  unfolded in front of a crowd. She sang in her elementary school choir, played violin in high school, and took piano and jazz/hip-hop dance lessons.

Then, while majoring in biochemistry at UCLA, Cuevas got involved with a Filipino choral group and a Filipino cultural production where she had the opportunity to sing, dance, and honor her culture on stage. The experience inspired her to get more serious about a career in the arts. (more…)