Julie Giampaolo

Business and Entrepreneurship

Julie Giampaolo brings a wide range of experience in theatre and marketing to her Business and Entrepreneurship classroom.

Careers in the arts come in many forms, and no one knows that more than Business and Entrepreneurship faculty member Julie Giampaolo. She moved from theatre to stage management in New Orleans, studio lighting to marketing in Chicago, and on to Columbia College Chicago, where she teaches courses in Business and Entrepreneurship.

You started in theatre. How did you land in your current career?

I actually started studying live theatre, then won a three-year fellowship to Tulane University [for] stage management and design. I was exposed to a lot of the business behind the arts, and I really enjoyed that. As much as I loved New Orleans, there wasn’t a lot of opportunity there. I moved to Chicago because of the live theatre scene. As I followed the work that was offered to me, I was working a lot of television, film, and news studios. Through that, I was exposed to marketing, exhibits, things like that. What I have been doing my entire career is staying flexible and going where the opportunity leads me, following the different avenues I get exposed to.

How do bring your professional skills into your Entertainment Marketing classes?

Something I know from my career is that every job you do is part of your reputation, and every contact you make could, down the line, be the lead in to the next new and interesting job. And I don’t think that’s something you truly realize until you are actually in the arts business. One of the things I do in my class is to try to bring real-life projects for students to work on. I don’t think there’s any substitute for a learning environment where people with real-life experience are teaching students via real-life experience.

What are some of the projects your students have done over the past few semesters?

My students have marketed a live music charity auction; [one class] marketed a great Q&A session at a theater. There was such a great working relationship there, and the students brought so much value to the marketing campaign, that [the theater] wanted to work with us again.

What advice do you have for future Columbia students?

I find myself a Columbia ambassador a lot when [teaching] at my other school [Joliet Junior College]. When someone asks me, “What do you think I can get out of Columbia?” I come back again and again to this idea of a community of artists who are working in their fields and bringing that daily experience and wide knowledge base to the students here. Most of the things I now do as an arts professional are jobs I had no idea existed when I was in high school. I would encourage prospective students to come here and explore their passions, and to discover the huge range of ways you can apply your skills and your passion in the arts community.