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Self-Actualization and the Power to Impact: Ziyu Zhu on Her Goals in TV

A UCLA alumna, Ziyu Zhu is no stranger to the creative arts. During her time as an undergrad, she was actively involved in producing films, plays, and helming multiple positions at the UCLA Student Spring Festival Gala. Through her work she has cultivated a process rooted in value creation. This process would be the guiding principle through her pursuits in the creative industry and would eventually lead her to the MSLCE program.

“For me, it’s about self-actualization,” she explains. (more…)

Integrating Science and Art: A Look into Khushi Goenka’s Path to MSLCE

Khushi Goenka’s journey into the creative industries began with a production she got involved in while completing her engineering degree at Manipal Institute of Technology in India. From there she went on to work for Bosch but couldn’t shake the creative bug. During her time at Electron Combine, she asked to transfer from her technical position to the marketing department and learned that she enjoyed the work far more.

When the time came to take her next step into the creative industry, she knew that the MSLCE program was the best fit for her. (more…)

MSLCE Student Rebekah Sigman on Taking a Chance and Being Creative

“There were only two professional theaters within an hour’s distance growing up,” mentions Rebekah. As a theater major in college, her introduction to the field was rather unconventional. She joined her high school theater group on a friend’s suggestion and immediately fell in love with it. After high school, she went to the University of Virginia to study theater and it is there that she had her first exposure to the creative community. “I liked to be around creative outgoing people, and theater really brought out my natural skills and my working inclination to just be around cool people every day,” she explains. (more…)

How Networks Play a Pivotal Role in Creative Industries

Creativity rarely happens in a silo, says Noshir Contractor, a professor of behavioral science at Northwestern. While that notion may have been true in the past, collaboration and networks are now the fuel that power creative success. 


This concept is what he’s teaching in his Leveraging Networks in Creative Industries course as part of the MS in Leadership for Creative Enterprises program. His goal is to help students embrace the departure from rugged individualism and lean into the idea of building networks to nurture creativity.


From Zoology to Journalism: Emily Altimari on Finding Passion in Hidden Spaces

Emily Altimari didn’t quite have the conventional start most creative industries professionals do. During her time as an undergraduate student at Colorado State University, she first studied zoology. Her love for animals motivated her to take up an animal care internship in a Chicago area zoo. It was during her time there that she realized that she was more interested in understanding people and working with them. “I always loved writing and when I was a child I would write small chapter books,” she explained, “so when I got back to Colorado State, I switched my major to Journalism with a double major in Spanish.”  (more…)

Unconventional Pathways To The Creative Industry: Jourdyhn William’s Journey

Jourdyhn Williams was exposed to the creative arts pretty early on in her life. Her earliest memory of actively participating in the field is of her father taking her out to weekly movies and discussing them later. This experience was formative in helping her understand where she belonged in the creative process. “He was exposing us to different genres,” she explains, “and the way I feel coming out of a movie theater — I want to be a part of the process that creates that experience for others.” She realized after exploring the field further that she wanted to be on the business and production side of the industry. (more…)

Building Knowledge to Develop a Global Talent Agency

From very early in his career, Raymond Cho ’21 has nurtured his entrepreneurial spirit. His BA in Accountancy and Financial Management from the University of Portsmouth led him to his first full-time job at an accounting firm in Singapore. Although it was a great fit for his degree, he quickly discovered it wasn’t the right career path.

Instead, he launched his own business: an e-commerce platform for online gamers in Singapore to trade digital currency. After a year, the company merged with NHN, a Korean IT company, and Cho moved to Bangkok. For three years at NHN, he managed mobile game operations in five countries across Southeast Asia. His job performance—including being ranked as the No. 4 top-grossing apps in two of the five countries he managed—translated to a quick promotion to a game business operation lead. He was the youngest in the company’s history to ever fill that position.

An Emmy® Award-Winning Producer Decides to Learn the Business Side of Entertainment

When Allyson Gimbel ’21 was an undergraduate at Tufts University, she already had a vision of life after college: She wanted writing and storytelling to be at the center of her career.

Although she hoped to major in communications and media studies, the subject was only available as a minor. So she studied English instead, deciding to minor in communications and media studies, take every media class she could, and work as an intern on The Oprah Winfrey Show

After graduation, she was ready to launch a career focused on educational and mission-minded media, so she joined the country’s largest PBS member station— New York’s WNET—as a research assistant to the president.  (more…)

Using TikTok to Explore Musical Narratives: Dan Cassin on Digital Creativity



By Priyanshi Katare

‘Dan’s Mystery Hat Box,’ was a defining video in Daniel Cassin’s journey as a TikTok content creator. The video was focused on Cassin’s call-to-action to help raise funds for his time in the MSLCE program and Chicago area shelters. To his surprise, it got over two thousand responses. Cassin was able to utilize that video to raise funds by making hats for those who responded but that is not where his journey as a TikToker began. Before his mystery hat box became a viral success, Cassin was using his platform to explore digital theater and to keep his relationship with the creative arts alive.  (more…)

Faculty Helps Artists Become Profitable Entrepreneurs

From drawing and singing to writing and performing music, Adjunct Professor PJ Loughran developed an early love for the creative arts.  

“All I wanted to do was find a way to have a life doing those things,” he says. “I was fortunate to come from a family that didn’t dissuade me. My parents saw what I was interested in, and they supported it. And, most importantly, no one ever warned me that it could be difficult.”

After graduating from New York’s Parsons School of Design with an illustration degree, he struggled to pick a career path: music or art? He had always been interested in both, and very much wanted to pursue both … so he did. Loughran landed a regular column illustrating for The Village Voice and began performing his songs in New York City nightclubs as he worked toward becoming a published illustrator and performing artist. (more…)