Tyler Bradley MAM ‘18 Takes Her Dreams to Infinity and Beyond
Just before beginning Columbia’s Arts Management (MAM) program, Tyler Bradley MAM ’18 turned her dreams into reality when she launched her very own touring production company. In the time since, she has continued to grow her business as Founder and Artistic Director, found success in various roles at Disney, and now has a piece of advice for students with the same determination: “Ask for what you want or deserve,” she says. “Ask for that raise, promotion, etc. It's scary but it's worth it.”
We recently asked Bradley to share her experience post-graduation and her plans for what’s next.
What made you choose Columbia’s Arts Management (MAM) program?
After I graduated with my bachelors, I spent a year touring an original dance production that I created during my senior year in undergrad [at Central Michigan University]. My love for creating live productions inspired me to find a program that would help me convert my dance production into a performance company. Columbia's Masters of Arts Management program was the perfect fit and ultimately helped me form my company HUE Productions by the time I graduated.
What was your role with The Walt Disney Company and what did you enjoy most about your work there?
My most recent title at The Walt Disney Company was a Senior Analyst for Corporate Brand Management. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to influence content that people from around the world would see and enjoy.
How do you feel your experience at Columbia prepared you for your career?
The Masters of Arts Management program prepared me for my career at Disney in two main ways. 1) The multidisciplinary courses that gave me widespread knowledge of the industry and 2) Columbia's helped me secure internships that provided me with real world experiences.
Also, knowing how to create and pitch a compelling presentation is one of the main skills needed at a company like Disney. The majority of my Columbia courses drilled presentation skills into my cohort. It may be annoying to always have to present in class, but trust me, it is extremely helpful in the real world.
Do you have anything else in the works, professionally?
I am a performance poet and just wrote my first book titled, Phasing Freely, which will be published by Alegria publishing in Spring 2023. My poetry focuses on inspiring self love and mental health awareness. Currently, I'm on a five-month international trip where I've performed my poetry in various countries including Italy, France, England, Scotland, and Spain. My next goal is to travel to US colleges and universities and use my poetry to inspire students to follow their dreams, but also take care of their mental health.
What advice would you give for grad students who are hoping to follow a similar path?
1) I think there is a common misconception that big companies like Disney or Google are out of reach for most people. My advice for students is to eliminate this thought from their mind. I guarantee you that the majority of people at these companies are no better or smarter than you. I received over 40 rejections from Disney before I got an internship. If you really want something you can make it happen and there are people out there willing to help, you just have to find them. Also, you may not get the job you want right away. My first job at Disney was working at a fast food restaurant at Walt Disney World. It definitely wasn't glamorous, but it did help me land an internship with the live entertainment team years later.
2) Going for your goals is important, but I encourage everyone to really focus on their mental health and make sure what you are striving for will truly make you happy. It's easy to get caught up in the grind, specifically with social media comparison. But remember that nothing is more important than your mental health and doing what is right for you.
3) I've spent a lot of time with some of the top creative exercises at Disney and I've found that the majority of them are just figuring their job out as they go along. You can too.
If you would like to keep up with Bradley’s journey, you can reach her on Instagram @TylerLennBradley.