Meet Akshay Kaushik, a second year graduate student in the Business & Entrepreneurship department at
Columbia College Chicago. He is involved with the music and entertainment industry. He also
composes and records his own music. In this graduate student spotlight, Akshay talks about how professors here have had an impact on the pursuit of his career goals.
What is your Major?
Master of Arts Management in Business & Entrepreneurship.
What are your goals for being in this program?
My main focus within this program has been on the music industry. I joined this program in Fall
2013 hoping to get an idea of how to create a sustainable career in the music and entertainment
industries. I’ll be graduating this semester in May 2015 and I feel like my goal has been achieved
What classes have helped (or are helping) you to achieve that?
Although I wasn’t looking forward to them before I started the program, I must now admit that the
Accounting and Financial Planning classes have really helped me understand how businesses in
the music industry operate. Revenue Generation Strategies was also an excellent class that I had
last semester; the class covers all topics related to ticketing and box office management. I also
found Events Management – Manifest and New Media Strategies very helpful. I am really enjoying
all of my classes this semester also.
Why did you choose Columbia’s Business & Entrepreneurship program, and how do you
think this program will create personal growth within your future career?
While applying, I had looked at a bunch of colleges all over the US for courses in arts
management and audio production but the reason why Columbia really stood out to me was the
emphasis on practical skills. When I checked out the course curriculum on the website prior to
applying, I was impressed by the attention paid to giving students an actual taste of what working
in the real world will be like. The practicum classes in club management, the AEMMP record label
and the Manifest events management classes are excellent examples of this approach. Also, I
feel that the skills and training I have picked up in the program can be translated to other
entertainment and media industries outside of music. The conversations we have had in
various classes throughout the course have helped me be more aware of the larger world out
Are there any particular professors who have made a significant impact on you? How?
I think every single professor I’ve studied under over the last 2 years has had some kind of
positive impact! My classes with Angelo Luciano (Accounting, Financial Planning), Philippe
Ravanas (Revenue Generations Strategies, Cultural Policy) and Kari Sommers (Event
Management – Manifest) were particularly interesting. I feel like I’ve got a lot of advice and
knowledge out of these classes that I can use not only for my career and for life in general but
also for improving and developing my craft/art.
What other career related interests do you have?
My interest in the music industry and this program stems from the fact that I am a musician. As
such, I write, compose and record music for my solo project, Acoustic Kult
(www.acoustickult.com). When not studying or working on campus, I’m usually doing something
or the other for this project.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope to be working in the field of live entertainment and event management or maybe in
something related to marketing and sponsorship, while continuing to record and perform music.
Ideally I’d love to be funding my own tours and recorded content while working as a consultant for
various live event production companies or freelance projects; let’s see what happens.