Student Spotlight: Kelsey Hayenga ('15)

Published on Aug 29, 2014
Photo Credit: Emiliy Madigan ('15)Photo Credit: Emiliy Madigan ('15)

Kelsey Hayenga (’15)

Arts Management MA

As the events coordinator for AEMMP Records, Kelsey Hayenga (’15) plans events, makes valuable connections with faculty and participates in Columbia’s vibrant arts culture.

When Kelsey Hayenga (’15) toured Columbia College Chicago during Open House, “I was blown away by the arts culture and the opportunities that were offered here,” she says.

Hayenga came to Columbia after completing an undergraduate degree in Theatre Studies at the University of Texas, a program that combined theatre arts and theatre education. She loves everything she has learned so far in the Master's of Arts Management program.

From Stage to Festivals

Hayenga is involved with AEMMP Records, the college's student-run record label practicum class in the Business & Entrepreneurship Department. She serves as events coordinator, helping execute events and trips.

AEMMP puts on events around campus featuring Columbia's many bands and artists, as well as recording and releasing those artists.

“In the spring semester, we put on 12 different events, which ranged from small tabling events [to promote releases and raise awareness] to full-on showcases across the country,” says Hayenga.

She describes her work with AEMMP as one of her best Columbia experiences because of the practical application it has to her future career in event coordination and ticketing.

The Opportunity to Jump In

“A lot of graduate programs are theory based,” says Hayenga, “and what I like about Columbia is that you have the opportunity to jump in and do practical work.”

AEMMP Records is not exclusive to graduate students, and Hayenga enjoys collaborating with undergraduate students who have focused, musical backgrounds.

Hayenga also worked in the Business & Entrepreneurship office, through which she helped organize and plan the department's trip down to South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas; approximately 110 students attended the music and media festival.

Building a relationship with the Business & Entrepreneurship faculty is also a valuable part of her educational experience.

“It has really expanded my network in ways larger than I could've imagined,” says Hayenga. “I learn a lot from their side projects and anecdotes, and it is more of a mentor relationship than a student-teacher relationship, so I've been really lucky in that way.”