March 16, 2021 | By Taeli Reistad | Back to blog

I am honored to write that I have been afforded a great opportunity to grow and evolve as a student within the Wisconsin School of Business, Bolz Center for Arts Administration.

In 2013, I received my bachelor’s degree in Art, with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 2017, I completed a graduate certificate in the Executive Program of Arts and Culture Strategy from the University of Pennsylvania and National Arts Strategies. Currently, I am nearly completed with my master’s degree in the Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership program, as well as a Center for Leadership & Involvement (CFLI) Leadership Certificate. I also serve as the External Relations Graduate Intern for Hennepin Theatre Trust (Minneapolis, MN), the Marketing and Capital Campaign Management Intern for Amanda White Consulting (Madison, WI), the student board placement for the Urban League of Greater Madison and a City of Madison Arts Commission Member.

About 4 years ago, I was encouraged to look into the Bolz Center MBA program, and although it sounded like a wonderful opportunity, the timing wasn’t quite right. I was already working within the arts and government field doing a job that I loved. I couldn’t afford to stop working for two years, nor could I afford the cost of tuition. Fast-forward to 2020, the end of maternity leave, the start of working from home and the start of lock-down. Even before receiving word about being laid off from my Marketing Coordinator position with Overture Center for the Arts, I intuitively thought that with the state of things at that moment, my job was one that could be put on hold. At that same moment I said to myself, “Maybe this is the time to revisit that MA program that I briefly heard about. Maybe it’s time to reach out to the Bolz Center team.” I submitted my grad school application in my pajamas, with my baby on my lap and my husband cheering me on from the kitchen. When I finally received a note of acceptance, I excitedly danced around the house – around the same time, I found out that I was right about my job position and set aside my Marketing Coordinator badge until I received word of a return.

To this day, I’m not quite sure what it is that gave me the confidence to finally apply to this remarkable program that is actively propelling me forward towards a career that I enjoy and deserve. Could it have been all of the conversations about the Bolz Center for Arts Administration? Was it the flexibility that made the MA program seem feasible? The honest feedback and support that I received from my husband and Rebecca (Becky) Buckman? Whatever it was, it once again proved that timing is everything. I am extremely grateful to have been immersed in numerous conversations, presentations and learning opportunities.

To reflect on all that I have accomplished in one short year, amidst a pandemic, social injustice, so much heaviness, all within a virtual setting, has been overwhelming, to say the least. I have an immense amount of gratitude, as my husband, my daughter, the Bolz ’21 cohort and the Bolz leadership team have supported me throughout this journey. I look forward to all that is to come. I am truly grateful for this experience and I am proud to be a Bolzie and a Badger.