Student Spotlight: Sarah Matthews

Student Spotlight: Sarah Matthews

Meet junior Sarah Matthews, an International Arts Management Major here at Columbia College Chicago. Her dream is to make a difference in the world through travel, music and philanthropy. Sarah talks about how Columbia will help her achieve her dreams in this student spotlight.


Sarah Matthews – Junior – International Arts Management Major – Business & Entrepreneurship – Columbia College Chicago

What is your Major?

Sarah: International Arts Management

What are your goals for being in this program?

Sarah: My biggest goal is to take advantage of as many opportunities as I can in Chicago and at Columbia. As a Columbia student, there are incredible opportunities given to you on a daily basis. In a cliché, ‘live life to the fullest’ sort of way, I am achieving my goal as long as I’m taking opportunities and having new experiences as an aspiring arts manager.

What classes have helped (or are helping) you to achieve that?

Sarah: Economics was a great introduction to thinking critically about the place of the arts industry in the larger picture of life. Introduction to Management provided my class specifically with the opportunity to ‘take over’ the traditional curriculum and develop our own ideas. Entertainment Law covered the gritty but necessary details of contracts and copyright law. The International Arts Management class that I’m in right now is preparing me to study abroad next year. There is a direct parallel between the classes in the Business & Entrepreneurship department and the real, professional world.

Why did you choose Columbia’s Business & Entrepreneurship program, and how do you think this program will create personal growth within your future career?

Sarah: I chose Columbia’s Business & Entrepreneurship program because it was one of the few schools in the country where I could be a music business management major without also having to be a music student, or be housed in a conservatory. I am a musician, but I knew I didn’t want to go the college route with my music, choosing to focus instead on the business side of it.

Are there any particular professors who have made a significant impact on you? How?

Sarah: My managerial economics teacher, Richard Lee, cured my fear of Economics. He deconstructed Economics into common sense, and I couldn’t believe how painless learning the subject was. Richard gave my class assignments we could directly benefit from, like researching the economics of the music industry and comparing employment opportunities with costs of living in Los Angeles or Nashville. Richard’s unique background makes him a very wise person, and he taught my class a lot of valuable ‘life lessons’ throughout the semester.

I had Beth Ryan for Intro to Management, and she is another professor who has made a significant impact on me. Beth is an unbelievably supportive teacher, mentor and human being. She is very organized and has a knack for getting things done. She also has a way of making each student feel special and appreciated.

What other career related interests do you have?

Sarah: I’ve always been nerdy about Archaeology and Anthropology, so I’d like to explore more opportunities in museum management and curating. Eventually, I’d like to participate in archaeological fieldwork. Going along with that, I’d love to study musicology because I will never get bored of music; it’s what I’m most passionate about.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Sarah: My dream is to make a difference in the world through travel, music and philanthropy. I’m not quite sure what that means yet, but if it doesn’t exist, then I’ll create it.