Student Spotlight: Joshua Evan Smith


Joshua Evan Smith – Sophomore – Business & Entrepreneurship – Media Management – Columbia College Chicago

Meet Joshua Smith, a sophomore studying Business & Entrepreneurship earning a BA in Media Management. He has loved the arts since he was 5 years old. In this student spotlight, Joshua talks about how he found Columbia College Chicago and how this program has helped him explore his goals.

What is your Major?

Joshua: I am currently a sophomore studying Business & Entrepreneurship earning a BA in Media Management.

What are your goals for being in this program?

Joshua: My ultimate goal in this program is to obtain a degree. I also hope to become a valued member in the Business & Entrepreneurship program community. I would love to be an active member in the decision-making process regarding student affairs. Along with that I would love to assist with any endeavors, as I am needed.

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

Joshua: My coursework has been academically fulfilling every semester. The courses that I feel have brought and are bringing me closer to my goals would include Intro to Management, Business of Media, Entertainment Law, and Talent Management. Intro to Management acted as the foundation of my major. I learned the philosophies of management in the arts in the course. Business of Media introduced me to concepts that surrounded traditional media and emerging media outlets. Entertainment Law has given me the confidence to negotiate contracts. Talent Management has caused me to have an even deeper infatuation with management.

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

Joshua: My love for the arts had been embedded in me since the age of 5 and I knew I had to dedicate my life to my passion. By the age of 10 I had come to the realization that I had an inclination for Business.

I initially began my college search as sophomore in high school in 2010 at Tri Cities High School Visual & Preforming Arts Magnet in East Point, Georgia. At the time I was pursuing my acting career as an actor in various infomercials.

I knew that I had to pursue a degree in the arts in order to maintain my happiness and to ensure success after graduation. After conducting research I came across Columbia College Chicago at a college fair in Atlanta.

I was initially impressed with Columbia’s progressiveness. I looked into the curriculum and found that the Arts, Entertainment & Media Management major accomplished what I had set out to do for myself in my own life. The major merged the arts and business. I fell in love immediately. Columbia was my number one choice!

With my mother, Valerie Smith’s, unconditional love and support I knew I could be successful 700 miles away from Atlanta in Chicago.

I took a leap of faith and I do not regret my decision!

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

Joshua: All of my professors fully represent the mission here at Columbia by living what you love. One stands out to me immediately though, Elizabeth Ryan. Beth Ryan has gone beyond the classrooms as an advocate for education in the entertainment industry. I view her as a mentor as well as a God Mother. If I ever need anything I can count on her counsel. I am blessed to have taken her course Intro to Management and to call her a member on my team!

Another professor that immediately resonates with me is Andrea Shipp. Andrea is a youthful energetic professor who still maintains a credible name in the industry as an agent. She has encouraged me to remain persistent and to never be intimidated by my own youth.

I value all of the connections I have made with my professors and professors to come. I am thankful for an opportunity to learn from all of them.

What other career related interests do you have?

Joshua: I aspire to become a ‘Multimedia Mogul’. As a child my father always encouraged my brother and I to reach for the unseen. Many people laugh when I tell them that my ultimate goal is to become a mogul. However, I realize that when you shoot for the stars, if you fall you will land in the clouds.

I plan on achieving mogul status through first managing talent and producing media that ensures the progression of urban communities. From there I plan on investing my time and resources in emerging media formats and solidifying myself in the field.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

God willingly, I see myself healthy and happy in 2020. I envision myself at the beginning stages of my career making waves in the music industry and digital industry through my management firm Hundredfold.

I foresee myself making my mother and family proud of me. I imagine myself as an active member in my community mentoring the youth. I visualize myself at Columbia encouraging and sculpting budding talent in various artistic mediums.