First semester wrap up

First semester wrap up

Here I am, presenting a final case study for economics on falling box office revenue. Me and the cat in our presentation have similar postures.

It’s the end of the semester and I’m sitting here eating my third plate of food from the end of year office Christmas party. Am I a little burnt out? Yes, I’m surprised to admit the wear and tear of my commute combined with exams and my graduate assistant position has caught up to me and I’m using this plate of food as incentive to get through the last 24 hour push of work I need to do to close out the semester. (Self care tip number 1: find totally healthy reasonable ways to motivate yourself like eating three rounds of holiday food before 2 p.m. in order to make it through what’s left of your work! But don’t worry everybody, I took a walk around the block before this last plate).

As I casually pop this potato chip into my mouth, I’m reminiscing about what I learned from my first semester of graduate school and these final two weeks. I’m learning a lot about what I bring to the table as a student and as a professional. One of my biggest hopes for the program was to become a more competent public speaker and leader, and with three classes intensive in the number and type of presentations required, I can tell you that I’m feeling my presentation skills growing pains. Most of the time, the feeling that resonates most (as I try to parse the fact that the program is almost 1/4 complete) is incubation. I’m a witch standing before my cauldron, piling in as many ingredients as possible, figuring out what the magic potion of career satisfaction and fulfillment will be.

Me, putting more knowledge and skills into the career pot

One of the figures from my first semester of grad school (who I would be remiss if I did not mention in a semester wrap up) is our Russian star of the cohort, Andrei Akimov. One takeaway for most artists and art managers alike is that you have to learn to work in teams. It is almost impossible to accomplish major projects, plan events, build a new business, enter an existing business, raise funds…without teamwork. No man is an island unto himself when it comes to the business of the arts. Bringing it back to Andrei, we worked in a group for multiple projects this semester and he brought a sense of levity and practicality to every meeting and every task. It was great working with him and really brought the point home of how important it is to find your working family, so to speak. In fact, he’s sitting next to me as I write this.

Andrei, holding down the fort in the Business and Entrepreneurship department, with the mix of humor and candor only he can manage

So Andrei if you are reading this right now: thank you for being a friend and colleague. Thank you for keeping a finger on the pulse of activities in the department. And thank you for holding it down as our oldest cohort member.


Overall, I’m really excited to see where the next semester will take all of us. I want to know where I’ll end up with the cauldron brew I’m mixing but in the meantime, I’m trying to enjoy the process of getting all the ingredients together.

Now, back to my last final for the semester….Accounting.

I’m totally keeping it together emotionally.