Alumni Insight: Emily Chervony

Alumni Insight: Emily Chervony

With postgrad life inching closer, I wanted to step back and gain some perspective with the help of someone who has been in my shoes! I spoke with Emily Chervony, MAM ’19, about her experience beyond the grad program and to hear her thoughts when looking back on her time at Columbia. For context, Emily is currently the Manager of Administration at The People’s Music School here in Chicago.

This is Emily! She is sending all current and prospective students good vibes!

What are the largest differences between your experience as an alum versus when you were in the program?

Well, I’m….no longer in school, so that’s pretty different! I miss a lot of the dedicated learning time. Now, I have to set aside time to be more of a big-picture thinker in my role. A lot of the day-to-day grind can get in the way if you’re not careful, so I do miss being in an environment where big dreams and visions are encouraged.

What are you recommendations for landing a job out of the MAM program?

Statistically, you are most likely going to get a job through the people you know. So put in the work to get to know people in the field and industry you’re interested in entering, and do it early. Buy people coffee. Check in on them regularly. Check in with yourself and your career goals regularly, too. Get curious. If you enter this program working on getting to know a wide range of people from day one, you will graduate with a job.

In what ways has the MAM coursework translated to your current role?

There’s no way I could have gotten this job without going through the MAM program—specifically the full year of Accounting and Financial Management. I would never have even applied! My job responsibilities involve managing the operations, finance, and human resources of the organization. I never would have pictured myself in a role like this coming into the program, but thankfully I had an amazing professor through both Accounting and Financial Management (shout-out to Ryan Smith) who made the concepts not only understandable but the work enjoyable for me. I love going to work each day!

What do you know now that you wish you could tell Emily during Year 1 of MAM?

Go out and meet more people in the field! Don’t be afraid to throw down the “I’m a Student” card more regularly in order to pick some interesting brains. Ask your professors who they know and if they’d connect you more often.



Many thanks to Emily for chatting with me and providing some vital insight for tackling the last few months in grad school!