Jesús Mario is a first-year graduate student from Columbia College Chicago pursuing a master’s degree in Arts Management. He’s originally from Puerto Rico and he moved to Chicago when he was 17 years of age to obtain his bachelor’s in audio design and production with a minor in the music business from Columbia College Chicago. Currently, he is an audio engineer, producer, and composer for Double Lightning Studios.
Where are you from and what brought you to pursue your master’s at Columbia College Chicago?
I’m from Puerto Rico and I chose to come to Columbia because when doing my undergraduate studies also at Columbia, professor Vanessa Wright from the business department, recommended this Masters in Arts management program. Also, I already had a great experience when completing my bachelor’s in audio design and production and a minor in Music Business at Columbia. That also influenced my decision-making when selecting a university.
You got your undergraduate in audio design and production. What has your experience been moving from that to more of the business side of things in the industry?
My experience moving further into the business side of my industry is something I wouldn’t have expected when I was 18 years old. When you’re a kid, you think that the vision you have at the moment is the only vision. With time, we learn there is a whole array of possibilities in regard to what we are going to do in life professionally. I fell in love with the business side of the music industry and can’t wait to keep mastering it.
What made you make the switch?
Well, I never actually made a full switch. It has always been a combination, that’s why I minored in Music Business. Since I feel that both fields are directly related to my goals and dreams, I had to study both. I chose to do my master’s degree in the business side because I felt there is a lot more to learn from it and because of how interesting it is. Studying the business side of the music industry more in-depth gives me perspectives I didn’t know existed.
How has your experience been at the undergraduate level versus at the graduate level?
My experience as an undergraduate was great. Columbia College Chicago’s audio department and its programs are phenomenal. I also participated in many activities throughout my undergraduate years. For example, I was nominated for the 2021 Hokin Honors Exhibition and was also chosen by the Audio Arts and Acoustics department from the university to represent them in the 2021 Manifest Exhibition. My experience of being a graduate student until this day has also been great. I like graduate studies better because I feel that our professors and peers are all on the same page. We are all professionals and everyone is centered and focused on their studies. We are also all adults participating in a much more mature environment.
How do you feel the Business and Entrepreneurship department has been beneficial in your time here at Columbia College Chicago?
The Business and Entrepreneurship department has definitely been beneficial in many ways. They have given me very useful tools and knowledge that I now apply in the real world. I have gained opportunities to showcase my work and develop my visions and goals even further. I have also been introduced to great faculty members as well as great classmates resulting in beautiful positive relationships.