Student Finds Inspiration and Motivation Through Event Collaboration

Columbia College of Chicago Senior Sean Miller
Partnering with other creatives to plan Columbia’s upcoming “Unleashed 2022” scholarship fundraising event presents new possibilities for Senior Sean Miller.

“I feel most successful and motivated when I am surrounded by all different types of creative minds,” says Columbia College Chicago Senior Sean Miller. By helping plan Columbia’s upcoming “Unleashed 2022” scholarship fundraising event, Miller has immersed himself in Columbia’s creative community. He has worked alongside students, faculty, and alums from various creative disciplines to produce the event, giving the Marketing major real-world experiences and new insights regarding his own career path.

Miller came to Columbia from Indianapolis, Indiana, believing he would flourish in Columbia’s diverse community of creatives. “Living in an influential city like Chicago is ideal for young, creative minds.”

“Unleashed 2022” presented Miller a chance to work with that diverse community. An exclusive event and celebration of creatives, “Unleashed 2022” will feature a roaming reception of activations — exhibits highlighting the work of students and alums, as coordinated by faculty and staff.

Miller and his team, which includes fellow Business and Entrepreneurship (BUSE) students Vianny Saito and Sofia Armadillo, have been working with Interactive Arts and Media (IAM) students, faculty, staff, and alums to help realize their activation for the event, which is called “The Brain Gym.”

“It has set me up for the real world as we have gathered all the information from different sources to complete our vision,” Miller says.

The Brain Gym activation welcomes attendees to unleash the conative, cognitive, and affective areas of their brains and features an interactive, conative assessment test; a virtual reality game that allows players to jump into an art gallery; a game for old-school arcade lovers based on weaponry and survival; and an app designed to normalize mental health.

“I hope attendees from the event understand how talented and diverse Columbia really is,” Miller says. “Our students at Columbia are so creative and this will be expressed at the event … From video game design to poetry to photography, everyone has their own unique way of expressing their art.”

An athlete and avid sports fan in his formative years, Miller discovered an interest and talent for sports photography in high school thanks to the influence of his father, a photojournalist for the Indianapolis Star. Miller decided he didn’t want to pursue photography professionally, but he did want to explore sports-related careers. With a concentration in Sports Management in Columbia’s BUSE department, he has done just that.

During his time at Columbia, Miller has interned for a Sports Content Creator developing a platform to educate others about sports. But Miller’s experiences helping plan “Unleashed 2022” as part of a BUSE Events Management practicum course has him considering other professional possibilities. “This class has opened up my eyes to how many jobs are out there,” he says. “I have never thought of myself as being one who wants to take action in events and help plan them, but these last 5 months have helped me get an idea of what I want to do with my career. I want to help others execute their vision.”

As a scholarship recipient himself, he also knows that the event will result in new doors of opportunity for creatives like himself. “Without scholarships, I would not be able to attend Columbia and fulfill my dream of going to college in Chicago.”