Educational background: University of Chicago, East Asian Languages and Civilizations
Prior work experience: SpencerStuart, Executive Search Consultant
Current or most recent position: Northbrook Symphony Orchestra, Executive Director
After completing my studies at MIT Sloan, I embarked on a four-part, one-year paid fellowship to learn different aspects of orchestra management. It was a very exciting job and whole new world, but nothing like what my fellow MBAs were doing.
For instance, I spent the summer in Colorado at the Aspen Music Festival, managing the Aspen Chamber Orchestra. In some ways, the manner in which orchestra members interact with each other bears a striking similarity to inter-office politics. For example, I had to make sure the principle oboe and principle bassoon players (long-time rivals) had equal lines of sight to the conductor's podium!
At my last rotation with the New York Philharmonic, I worked as a production assistant for the semi-staged production of Candide, which was filmed for Great Performances on PBS. My job was operational, and I saw many similarities to what a logistics manager at a manufacturing facility might face.
Now I am the executive director for the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra, just outside of Chicago. As the orchestra's first professional manager, the responsibility at times is daunting. However, if we sell more tickets or raise more money, it is probably a direct result of actions I have taken, and I get tremendous satisfaction from that.
It's funny to me that I went into performing arts management coming out of MIT Sloan. Over the past two years, I have thought a lot about what I love, and I keep coming back to the arts. If anything, MIT Sloan encourages you to really think about and pursue your true interests.