Student Spotlight: Erica Bibby

Erica Bibby 2Erica Bibby is a 2011 graduate of The George Washington University in Psychology and  Communication Studies. Her interest in the arts and cultural sectors stemmed from a semester spent abroad in Berlin, Germany, where she focused on metropolitan studies. Erica considers herself well traveled with an interest in arts and world cultures. Her breadth of experience began in Public Relations, where she honed valuable communication skills at Edelman and Weber Shandwick. Erica also held roles with Cultural Tourism DC, Time Warner Inc., and WGBH, a PBS affiliate. Her focus in development, community relations, and event organizing comes from involvement in Discover Roxbury and her admiration of the National Center of Afro-American Artists (NCAAA).

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University? I think the greatest strength of the program lies in its diverse course offerings. Not only are students able to cross-register for classes in Columbia Business School, SIPA, and Columbia Law School, but the courses offered through the program’s core material also cover a wide range of topics. There is also an unmatched level of professionalism among professors, staff, and students that I did not sense when looking into other Arts Administration programs. On another note, I worked a few years before considering graduate school, so once I began looking at different programs it was important for me to find one that encouraged students to learn not only from the program, but from its alumni, staff, and even the city itself.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals? This semester, and last, I have benefited most from the ‘real world’ exposure we’ve received through some classes. For example, in Marketing the Arts, Culture, and Entertainment, a required course offered through the business school, we had to work as ‘consultants’ for organizations and develop compelling marketing plans for specific problems they faced. We had a similar project in another core class, Principles and Practices in Arts Administration. The courses I’m currently in involve field study, and also incorporate guest speakers often. Learning from professionals in the art world has helped me discover what career paths I’m most interested in pursuing.

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