The Value of an MBA in an Arts and Humanities Career

Want to make your mark as a leader in the arts and humanities? An MBA can help you stand out from the crowd.

While many MBA students go on to work in finance, consulting, or technology careers, an MBA degree is an asset in any industry. Earning an MBA is an opportunity to grow your business knowledge, become a more strategic thinker, and strengthen your leadership skills. We reached out to women leaders in the Forté community who work in the arts and humanities and asked how their MBA has helped them on their career path.

“Having spent my career in nonprofit arts organizations, I’m grateful to have participated in the Vanderbilt MBA program. It was here that I learned more about operational effectiveness, honed  my managerial skills, and learned to align resources to tackle complex business issues. The last 20 months of the pandemic have changed the landscape dramatically for place-based institutions and cultural centers like museums, and I was able to lean on the skills learned and network built during my MBA program to lead our organization through these challenges.” – Abby Shue, Deputy Director, External Relations and Advancement at Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY

“Coming from a creative background, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to broaden my career without an MBA. From Marshall, I learned how to strategically think about products, whether it is  a piece of content or physical equipment. When I was shooting films, I felt a glass ceiling between me and the decision makers. Now I understand why and how the decisions are made, and I am  part of the room. Just like in video games, an MBA elevated my level to another dimension.” – Eugene (YuJin) Koh, Amazon Game Studios, Program Manager/Producer at Prime Gaming Live

“When the financial crisis hit in 2007, I saw museums laying off staff and art spaces closing, and I realized I could help artists more if I could manage people and money. I applied only to Yale School of Management because of its strong leadership in the social sector… At business school, I also got an understanding of how people develop influence and how organizational structures and interpersonal relationships impact decisions.” – Clare Ruud, Director of Curatorial Strategy, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

The MBA prepared my entrepreneurship journey with the knowledge and network I need. It gave me the courage to start my own business.” – Patti Pan, CEO and the Founder of RevArt

“I entered into my MBA program at USC Marshall with a nontraditional background, and after I graduated I continued on a nontraditional path. I was fortunate to be a part of the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab during my time at Marshall, which greatly influenced my educational experience and career choices. My MBA education taught me lessons in collaborative leadership, working across disciplinary boundaries to achieve common goals, and how to approach big, ambiguous challenges with flexible frameworks. I use these takeaways every day in my career working at the intersection of art, design, social change and education, developing cross-disciplinary projects in the areas of sustainable development, social entrepreneurship, public policy, health and social justice.” – Jennifer May, Executive Director, Designmatters, ArtCenter College of Design

“Pursuing an MBA helped me understand that strong professional approaches transcend industry and function. Balancing creativity and productivity, analyzing with betterment in mind, focusing on outcomes tied to meaning, and leading with integrity are all skills I have used in the arts, business administration, and in education, too. Working with intention is truly interdisciplinary and holds value in all professional fields.” – Jessi Rosinski, Cross Disciplinary Consultant

Considering an MBA? Make the most of Forté’s MBA resources and events.

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