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Chance Meeting at New Student Convocation Leads to Formation of Student Organization

Before the start of each fall semester Columbia College Chicago helps to build camaraderie amongst incoming freshman and transfer students by hosting Convocation. This is an ideal time for new students to connect with their departments, as well as with services offered by the college including the Career Center, Academic Advising, Student Life, and many more. It was at the fall 2021 Convocation, that Music Business majors Hunter Meisel and Hailey Works, co-student presidents of one of Columbia College Chicago’s newest student organization, Columbiagency, cemented not only a friendship, but a partnership. According to Hunter, “We met at the Business and Entrepreneurship intro session for incoming students that happens before Convocation. Then we spent the day walking around Convocation and learning about the different clubs Columbia offers. We both found Student Programming Board (SPB) and decided to join. At SPB, we strengthened our friendship and we decided to create Columbiagency together. I think we work well together because we build off of each other and inspire one another.”

After gaining experience through their time with SPB, Hunter and Hailey noticed that their skill sets and ideas for student engagement gave them the impetus to start Columbiagency. As Haily discusses, “Hunter and I saw the problem of Columbia’s students having a hard time networking with each other, especially across different departments. Our solution to this problem was starting Columbiagency to give students the ability to network and create meaningful relationships with their peers while gaining relevant experience in their respective fields.”

Columbiagency is centered on creating opportunities for student artists, as well as students who have an interest in managing music artists. This unique student organization gives students resources and support for those trying to reach a goal. According to Hailey, “Aspiring music industry professionals will let us know what they would like to help with, and aspiring talent students will let us know what they need help with in areas such as booking, marketing & public relations, management, publishing, recording, etc. From there, Columbiagency will connect these students based on what help they can provide and what help they need, allowing those students to work together and gain experience in their respective fields.”

Despite being a new organization, Columbiagency has already secured two clients. Hailey had this to say about the artists they are working with. “Aisle Five formed in September of 2022 and are an up-and-coming alternative rock band hailing from Chicago. They draw their inspiration from the sounds of The Strokes, DJO, Devo, and Talking Heads. Aisle Five has played in iconic venues across Chicago such as Reggies and the Metro. Their debut EP is planned to be released in February 2023. Arondo (Aaron Diaz), is an up-and-coming alternative/indie artist from Northwestern Indiana. His vocals are influenced by Harry Styles and his sound has been compared to Cavetown. His music can be found on all streaming services besides SoundCloud.”

As Columbiagency starts its second semester this week, Hunter and Hailey can look back and be proud of their accomplishments thus far. As with any student organization, involvement is crucial to long-term success. Hunter shared details on what positions are available, and how students can get connected to them. "There are opportunities for marketing, public relations, management, booking, publishing, law, and merchandise. Depending on what a student is interested in or wants to learn, we are flexible because the club’s purpose is to learn about the entertainment business and allow students to experiment on where they fit in. Students can join our Engage Portal, attend weekly meetings, and follow us on Instagram: @columbiagency.”

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