Business and Entrepreneurship Student Hunter Meisel Carves Her Own Path

hunter meisel sitting on steps
Sophomore Hunter Meisel on the importance of connection, community, and taking the leap.

For Hunter Meisel, two years into the Music Business bachelor’s degree program, the journey to Columbia College Chicago started with the knowledge that she loved live events, loved music, and felt fulfilled in her experience stage managing theatrical productions in high school in Metro Detroit. “I combined my stage manager experience with my love for concerts and traveling and decided I want to become a tour manager for a band or artist in the future.” Columbia College Chicago’s course offerings, paired with the school’s location and connection to major artists, made it the perfect fit.

Still, Meisel is the first to say that this perfect fit may not have been immediately apparent. But as the after-effects of the pandemic have faded and life returns to normal, the opportunities for community building, making friends in creative fields, and the chance to experience the best of Chicago has made Meisel sure that she’s exactly where she is supposed to be. “Especially this year, now that I’m finding my groove, I think I definitely made the right decision coming to Columbia. I love the business department, and all the professors, and everyone I meet is so amazing.”

Having the opportunity to study the music business with a concentration in Live and Touring, which focuses on all aspects of the live music business and covers promotion, live events, and event sponsorship as well as physical touring, is just one of the ways that Columbia has been able to help Meisel hone in on her passions. Columbia has also been an environment that has welcomed Meisel’s interest in contributing her voice to institutional and pedagogical practices and that has fostered her interest in professional development prior to graduation.

As a freshman, Meisel joined the Student Government Association (SGA), which serves as a liaison between students and faculty, staff, and administration to ensure that student needs and perspectives are honored in Columbia’s continued growth as an institution. As an SGA Senator, Meisel has the opportunity to regularly interface with her department Chair and ensure that the voices of her cohort are heard.

Meisel is also an active member of the Student Programming Board (SPB), which is a team of students who plan, promote, and produce campus-wide programs and events that showcase the best of what Columbia has to offer. “We host various events through the school year,” Meisel says of her work with SPB. “Last Thursday we had this event called Get Up and Move that was a yoga and learning to dance event…our events encourage students to get involved [in campus life] and have fun.”

For Meisel, the pinnacle of opportunity lies in the endless potential in the networking and connections that can be made at Columbia, particularly between students in business and students in the arts. To that end, Meisel and her fellow BUSE student Hailey Works started Columbiagency, Columbia College Chicago’s first talent agency dedicated to connecting students to opportunities in their industry at Columbia. “We wanted to build a bridge between business students and people who are looking for help with their careers, to give everyone opportunities in the industry,” Meisel says.

Between her classes, institutional work, and agency work, Meisel is keeping busy. Up next: an opportunity in Hammelburg, Germany, to attend a music business workshop that will provide new experiences, skills, and opportunities to work with artists, learn about the music business, and practice developing talent relationships. And to students who may have similar goals of bridging the gap between business and the arts, Meisel has some advice: “Just jump in and go for it. Especially if it’s something you’re passionate about.”