If you have a passion for an arts-related industry, any good mentor would (or should) tell you that without business knowledge you can expect to be cycled in and out of the industry very quickly. I came to Whitman as a musician from a performing arts high school in New York City, LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (known from the “Fame” movie).
During college application time, I decided that I wanted to spend my college career learning the ins and outs of launching and managing a business or, as I put it then, a music “empire.” What I left college with was so much deeper than I anticipated and my education at Whitman extends throughout each component of my personal and professional life now.
The entrepreneurship program at Whitman equipped me with a more forward-thinking mindset, greater problem-solving skills and top of the line mentorship, while fostering an environment of creativity and innovation. Over the years, I started to see a parallel between an entrepreneur and a musician. Both embrace improvisation as a means to push past the conventional tune of life. I also learned that one does not need to invent a product to be considered entrepreneurial. Such a person can exist within a corporation or simply change the way things are done.
Whitman ultimately taught me the person I want to become, which is the highest lesson of them all. I am working towards becoming the advocate and trustworthy agent that creative minds need to provide a cushion for their talents. In an industry, like the music business, that has an extensive history of keeping artists in oblivion of their rights and appropriate compensation, it is time to turn the tables on these practices especially now that the digital era has brought on so much transparency. I was able to begin this journey in my senior year at Whitman.
The Strategic & Entrepreneurial Management (EEE 457) and Entrepreneurship Launchpad (EEE 400) courses jumpstarted my plan to develop a virtual platform that provides all the business services I would offer artists. By the time I graduated, I already had a full business plan with a pitch and an experienced developer who is completely devoted to the task at hand. Thanks to Whitman, I can now say that I am on the path to fulfilling my dream of starting a music empire, one artist at a time. A special thanks to the staff of the Couri Hatchery and the Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship.
- Alumni of the Week: Charis-Faith Slue ’15 - July 29, 2015