Please tell us about yourself

Meet Akshay Kaushik, a second year graduate student in the Business & Entrepreneurship department at Columbia College Chicago. He is involved with the music and entertainment industry. He also composes and records his own music. In this graduate student spotlight, Akshay talks about how professors here have had an impact on the pursuit of his career goals.

Akshay currently manages Marketing, communications and alliances for Viacom 18 INS live festival properties such as VH1 Supersonic, MTV Bollyland, among others.

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What is your Major?

Master of Arts Management in Business & Entrepreneurship. I have a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Delhi University.

What are your goals for being in this program?

My main focus within this program has been on the music industry. I joined this program in Fall 2013 hoping to get an idea of how to create a sustainable career in the music and entertainment industries. I’ll be graduating this semester in May 2015 and I feel like my goal has been achieved already!

What classes have helped (or are helping) you to achieve that?

Although I wasn’t looking forward to them before I started the program, I must now admit that the Accounting and Financial Planning classes have really helped me understand how businesses in the music industry operate. Revenue Generation Strategies was also an excellent class that I had last semester; the class covers all topics related to ticketing and box office management. I also found Events Management – Manifest and New Media Strategies very helpful. I am really enjoying all of my classes this semester also.

Why did you choose Columbia’s Business & Entrepreneurship program, and how do you think this program will create personal growth within your future career?

While applying, I had looked at a bunch of colleges all over the US for courses in arts management and audio production but the reason why Columbia really stood out to me was the emphasis on practical skills. When I checked out the course curriculum on the website prior to applying, I was impressed by the attention paid to giving students an actual taste of what working in the real world will be like. The practicum classes in club management, the AEMMP record label and the Manifest events management classes are excellent examples of this approach. Also, I feel that the skills and training I have picked up in the program can be translated to other entertainment and media industries outside of music. The conversations we have had in various classes throughout the course have helped me be more aware of the larger world out there.

Are there any particular professors who have made a significant impact on you? How?

I think every single professor I’ve studied under over the last 2 years has had some kind of positive impact! My classes with Angelo Luciano (Accounting, Financial Planning), Philippe Ravanas (Revenue Generations Strategies, Cultural Policy) and Kari Sommers (Event Management – Manifest) were particularly interesting. I feel like I’ve got a lot of advice and knowledge out of these classes that I can use not only for my career and for life in general but also for improving and developing my craft/art.

What other career related interests do you have?

My interest in the music industry and this program stems from the fact that I am a musician. As such, I write, compose and record music for my solo project, Acoustic Kult ( When not studying or working on campus, I’m usually doing something or the other for this project.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I hope to be working in the field of live entertainment and event management or maybe in something related to marketing and sponsorship, while continuing to record and perform music. Ideally I’d love to be funding my own tours and recorded content while working as a consultant for various live event production companies or freelance projects; let’s see what happens.