​Experiential Learning in Business of the Arts

Experiential Learning for Business of the Arts students includes consulting for artistic entrepreneurs, arts related nonprofits or for-profit organizations with a creative facet. You’ll provide market research and analyze data and offer strategic direction to address the unique, real-world business problems that artists confront.

Semester-long and half-semester engagements are managed through Olin’s Center for Experiential Learning and supported through WashU’s deep connections to organizations that are arts-related. These extracurricular projects offer you a vivid understanding of how business principles apply to the arts and arts-focused organizations. At the same time you’re developing your business skills, you’re also forging industry ties that could lead to other opportunities—including internships. Through consulting engagements, Business of the Arts students gain valuable experience in team building and teamwork, client communications, conducting research and collaborating with a client through projects that involve:
  • Market Research: Gauge best practices across a range of arts-related organizations as a way to offer your client a competitive advantage.
  • Data Analysis: Analyze how to improve customer engagement, sales and merchandising for your client’s brand.
  • Competitive Analysis: Help your client better understand their own market, develop strategies to enhance the customer experience and engagement and offer insights into market pricing.
  • Strategic Analysis: Determine where your client stands in comparison to similar organizations, identifying any strategic advantages and disadvantages that exist.

Potential Internship Roles

The industry contacts made through consulting projects, immersion trips and guest speakers from the artistic community are invaluable. As a Business of the Arts student, you’ll find yourself well positioned for internships in a variety of roles:

  • Marketing: Promoting or selling products or services on behalf of an artistic entrepreneur, an arts-related nonprofit or a for-profit organization with artistic leanings.
  • Sponsorship Sales: Cultivating corporate relationships for nonprofit clients.
  • Operations and Logistics: Managing interlocking pieces of an arts-related organization, including finance, marketing, public relations, sales and communication.
  • Financial Analysis: Developing deeper understanding behind revenue and expenses.
  • Analytics: Working with data to uncover trends in customer engagement and sales, including ticket sales and season ticket renewals for arts organizations such as theater and symphony companies.
In addition to expertise in a variety of roles, you’ll be well qualified for internships in a variety of organizations, from fine arts to fashion design to arts and culture nonprofits to for-profit organizations with a creative component and more.