Alumni Spotlight: Grace Wiley (BA ’14)

Alumni Spotlight: Grace Wiley (BA ’14)

Grace Wiley, a CCC alumna, makes an effort to giveback to Columbia every chance she gets. She supports students as a guest presenter, giving advice on networking and sharing other industry insights. Grace maintains a great connection with lecturer, Monique Maye. Grace immersed herself in the sports industry through internships that ultimately led to her current career with The Chicago Bulls.

What degree did you earn from Columbia? When did you graduate?

I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Photography with a Minor in Sports Management. I graduated May of 2014.

What is your current job and how did you get there?

I am currently a Photographer for the Chicago Bulls. I got the position interning with multiple sports organizations throughout my time at Columbia including the Chicago Sky and the Boston Bruins.

What field are you working in?

I am working full time in the photography field and love every second of it!

How did the business program at Columbia prepare you for what you do now?

The business program was a great influence on me and my career path. I learned so much about the sports business. If it wasn’t for Monique, and the other professors in the Business & Entrepreneurship Department, I would not be where I am now.

What was your most valuable Columbia experience?

My most valuable Columbia experience was working at the Columbia Chronicle. Most students know of the weekly newspaper, but do not know that there are many opportunities there for students of all majors. It helped expand my portfolio beyond belief.

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

Monique Maye will always be my favorite professor! She helped me get my internship with the Chicago Steel when I took her Business of Professional Sports class my sophomore year at Columbia. She is always willing to stick her neck out for her students and I will always be grateful I met her.

In what way did your Business degree help your career?

Since I am a photographer, I did not think having a Business minor was going to benefit my career, but I do not think I would have the same profession if I did not have the degree. I know how to deal with clients and make my best work because I am confident in the skills I was taught in the Business Department.

Do you have any advice for current Columbia students?

Intern, intern, intern! I know it is difficult sometimes due to the fact that most internships are unpaid, but they will pay off in the long run. Having an internship in college will better prepare you once it is time to get into the workforce. Employers look for internships on your resumé, especially if they are in the field you are trying to get into. When it comes to the sports business, internships are the best way to get your foot in the door and get that dream job out of school.