The final semester in the MAM program is a strange world. We all seem to be sprinting into a feverish job hunt AND trying to cherish our last few months together. The realization has dawned on us that the time when we are obliged to be in the same space is quickly coming to a close, which is bringing up some early onset separation sadness. A fun fact: the course load for the final semester in the MAM program is all electives. Yay choices, but it also means our cohort doesn’t have a single class where we are all together. This has been a major shift and definitely has us in our feels. Rather than a wave hello, there are lots of hugs and extended coffee breaks.
The best thing about the cohort model of this program is the connections we have made. Not only are we all there to cheer each other on, but we’re quick to support each other whenever possible. I’ve witnessed classmates sharing network connections, forwarding job postings to each other, reviewing each other’s resumes and cover letters, and lending an ear when anyone needs to talk things through. This group has helped each other get clearer on what next steps could look like and how to position our school experience for upcoming opportunities.
Speaking of great groups of humans, I had the opportunity to do a J-term course, which consisted of two weeks in Miami in January with thirteen other Columbia undergrad and grad students. The course is called Creative Industry Trends, which sounds vague but ended up perfectly describing the trip. We spent two weeks visiting over fifteen different arts, entertainment, and cultural organizations. The trip consisted of conversations with executive leaders and site tours of various venues and companies. Through this trip, we truly got a sense of the different factors that are affecting the region and how each company and organization is responding to it. Each perspective we heard helped to build an understanding of the arts and culture landscape of the South Florida region, which pushed everyone on the trip to think about how we can bring our learning back to Chicago. Personally, I’m excited to continue finding different ways to learn more deeply about the factors affecting the landscape here in Chicago.
I’m sure there will be oodles of lessons to be gained as the semester marches forward and the job hunt inevitably continues. Keep an eye out for my next go around for *fingers crossed* good news!