Why Booth? Why Civic Scholars?

It is the education at Booth—not just the degree—that excites me. I’m eager to embark on the invaluable, hands-on learning opportunities that will expand my network while challenging me to think beyond silos. The group coursework, active student groups, and the range of opportunities available at the on-campus institutions, such as the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation, are all integral to the education I seek, one that merges theory and practice. Civic Scholars further deepens that experience by focusing on social impact beyond a traditional perspective and by designing a tailored experience where I can learn from and be challenged by peers and faculty from across the nonprofit, government, and business sectors.

What are your career aspirations?

I’m invested in finding or developing sustainable economic models for artists, arts workers, and their families. I’d love to start or lead a nonprofit that focuses on civic advocacy, data-driven research, financial literacy, and resource redistribution for the individuals that fuel the art economy, yet do not access much of its financial benefit. My goal is to contend with the internal and external markets in the arts as well as address the field’s lack of data in an attempt to solve the economic inequities faced by artists, especially those from under-resourced backgrounds.

What skills are you looking to develop at Booth and implement into your sector?

I am committed to the well-being of our country’s culture makers and invested in fostering diverse cultural communities. As a problem solver and creative systems builder, every role I’ve held has focused on empowering artists and reframing the institution as a catalyst for strengthening ecosystems.

The opportunity to work at Builders Vision came at an incredible time during my Booth journey. The organization is bridging the best practices of the private and social sector to “shift markets and minds” through investing, philanthropy, and a range of other tools to make our world better. In my new role, I can start envisioning better sustainable economic models for artists in Chicago by applying what I’m learning at Booth, from impact investing to scaling social innovation, and Builders Vision in tandem.

Why is an MBA important in the nonprofit and government sector?

The changing financial and philanthropic landscape requires data-driven and risk-taking strategies, something I want to learn and develop in real-time at Booth. In pursuing an MBA, I hope to gain a depth of financial knowledge and strategic acumen applicable in my current and future role, giving my organization’s board further confidence in my ability to lead the organization beyond just the departments I oversee.

Which program format did you choose and why?

With support from my organization, completing an MBA in tandem with a full-time position will enhance my education and help me become a smarter leader. The Evening program offers me the flexibility to take courses with the exact same faculty from the Full-time program while having the ability to apply what I’m learning in real-time. Additionally, I look forward to processing and contemplating what I’m learning over a longer timeline.

Tell us about your career journey and how you got to where you are now within the social sector.

Originally from Miami, I fell in love with the Midwest while studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where I received a BFA in Fiber and Material Studies. After earning an MA in Visual Arts Administration at New York University, I worked at various artist-centered organizations including the Art Institute of Chicago, ART21, and Creative Time, where I coordinated the 2015 conference “The Creative Time Summit: The Curriculum at the Venice Biennale.” I’m also on the board of directors at ACRE Residency, a nonprofit organization and artist residency designed to support early-career artists across the country.