Passionate about music and management, Allison is on course to graduate from Columbia a year early. She is already active in her field and has had early career success as a manager for the pop-rock band Take A Breath and as Executive Editor for Beyond the Stage magazine. Her inspirational interview discusses her experience at Columbia and future plans.
What is your major or BA? When is your expected graduation date?
I’m a Music Business Management major with an expected graduation date of May 2017– I’m graduating a year early.
Why did you choose Columbia’s Business & Entrepreneurship program?
I loved the idea of living in downtown Chicago and having such an incredible city at my disposal. The possibilities in this city are endless.
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about music, most of all, hence why I’m a Music Business Management student. But I’m also passionate about grandpa sweaters, mashed potatoes and traveling, especially road trips.
What projects are you currently working on outside of classes?
I manage Pittsburgh based pop-rock band Take A Breath and tour with them when I’m not in school, I am the Executive Editor of a music magazine called Beyond The Stage Magazine, I serve as an intern / executive assistant at a music management company called New Age Media Management, and I do freelance publicity work and advising for a couple other artists.
Which classes have helped you the most with your career goals?
My Talent Management classes, primarily. They’ve taught me a lot of things that I carry over into my internship and the work that I do with other artists.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Living in Nashville, running an in-house management company and / or indie record label with a small team of passionate people. I’ve always loved the idea of maintaining close relationships among a musician’s entire team, from publicity to management to art direction, so I’m trying to create something like that.
How has being a student at Columbia impacted your path to success for your career?
Columbia has led me to make some great connections that have already started opening up doors for my career. I’m learning the necessary skills I need to run a business and to understand the inner workings of the music industry while being taught by professors who are active in their field.
What is your philosophy on life (personal motto) as it relates to your educational career?
My favorite author, Stephen Chbosky, once told me to take my negative energy and convert it into positivity and use that to change the world. Since then, I’ve tried to find the positives in negative situations and I’ve applied that theory to every aspect of my life. It’s helped me keep my cool throughout school, internships, and essentially every project I take on.
What advice would you give to prospective students?
Take advantage of the connections you make here, really push yourself to converse and mingle with as many people as you can. This school is full of talented people that you can collaborate with. Find internships and / or create your own projects in your spare time, they can turn out to be extremely valuable and beneficial in getting your foot in the door.