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When I applied to Kellogg, I distinctly remember reading about the Kellogg Board Fellows program and being intrigued by the idea of serving on a non-profit board during my time as a business school student.  Fast forward two years and here I am, wrapping up my final project as a board member for the Evanston Symphony Orchestra.

Through the Kellogg Board Fellows Program, I sit on the board of directors for the Evanston Symphony, which is a volunteer-based orchestra that aims to bring the joy of music to the local community.  For the past year, I have been working with the board on a specific project with a focus on attracting younger audiences to concerts, which is an issue that all performing arts organizations face today.  Because of the experiential learning component of this project, I was able to tackle this project as part of my Advanced Topics in Marketing course last Winter quarter.  With the guidance of my professor and fellow classmates, our team leveraged the marketing concepts we have learned here at Kellogg and applied them in the context of classical music concerts.  I presented my research and recommendations to the board earlier this month and hope to begin implementing some of my recommendations before I graduate.  This project has been an especially meaningful and personal experience for me because of my background in music and passion for the performing arts.  As a board member, I also help out in the box office for each concert and this past season, have had the pleasure of listening to the orchestra and soloists play the brilliant Dvorák Symphony No. 8 as well as the blazing Khachaturian Violin Concert No. 1.

Through this experience, I have witnessed first-hand the importance of experiential learning and applying classroom concepts to the real world, not only in the professional workplace, but also in the nonprofit arena.  I have to admit that when I first embarked on my Kellogg journey, I did not expect that I would have much time to pursue passions outside of the busy business school schedule.  However, it is amazing that through its diverse offerings, Kellogg has given me the opportunity to develop my leadership skills while continuing my passion for classical music and serving the community.

Here is a photo of the February concert, featuring violinist Bella Hristova playing Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto No.1 with the Evanston Symphony.