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Matt Dreier

Wrapping It All Up

by Matt Dreier Tuesday, May 13, 2014

“Art is a nation’s most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.”

 - Lyndon B. Johnson, on signing into existence the National Endowment on the Arts


My first year as an MBA is rapidly coming to a close. With only a few exams and final projects left, I can see the end of the spring semester fast approaching. This semester has been a fantastic experience. My classes really built upon the foundation of the first semester, but also allowed me to tackle some real life application of the concepts that we have been learning. The Bolz Center, in partnership with the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), has been working on the Dawson Research Initiative. The focus this semester has been in providing case studies regarding the changing dynamic of presenters, artists, and their communities. Our project is finally wrapping up this week as we make our conclusions about the increasing use of alternative models for performing arts presenters. It is work like this that really allows us to see the real-world application of the knowledge gained throughout the Wisconsin MBA.


During the summer between the first year and second year of the MBA program, each student pursues a summer internship experience. Each specialization focuses on internships that fit within their desired career path, allowing for a large variety of partnerships for the summer. These internships typically last 10-12 weeks, and provide students with the opportunity to make immediate impact on their organization. The Bolz Center students will be working with a variety of organizations this summer, including APAP, the Kennedy Center, the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, and the Bravo! Vail summer music festival.


This summer I am beyond excited to be working as a special projects manager with Project Success, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit dedicated to inspiring young people to dream about the future and give them the tools to achieve that future. Project Success has numerous programs including arts workshops, theater experiences, college tours, and student performances. I will be working to help identify strategies to inspire growth and help strengthen the organization. Additionally, I will also be doing some independent freelance work as a management and strategy consultant for a Madison-based nonprofit theater company. As this company looks to build a more sustainable organization, my goal will be to help build strategic recommendations to achieve their financial and artistic goals. I can’t wait to get a chance to put my classroom knowledge and experience to work this summer to help these organizations! It is precisely because of opportunities like these that I chose to attend Wisconsin to earn my MBA in arts administration.


I hope you enjoyed the trip through my first year in the MBA program—I know I certainly did. This is my final blog post as the student blogger for the Bolz Center this year. August will bring in a new batch of first year Bolz Center students with their own stories to share. As I say goodbye, please join me in wishing the best of luck to all of the graduating MBAs, especially our five Bolzies: John, Megan, Sherry, Lindsay, and Lizzy. They are an unbelievably talented and passionate group of individuals who will no doubt create a huge positive impact on the world in the future.


Thank you again for joining me this year. Have a great summer!