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Kimberly Liwanag Creates Opportunities Through Leadership, Drive & Passion

Senior Audio Design and Production major Kimberly Liwanag has made quite an impression at Columbia College Chicago by taking advantage of opportunities that have come her way throughout her time at the college.

From working as an on-campus student worker, being involved with the Women in Audio student organization, and spending her final semester visiting SXSW as a student in the AEMMP Practicum, she has amassed a great deal of leadership skills throughout her Columbia College Chicago tenure.

Attending Streamwood High School in Streamwood, IL, Kimberly described herself as “more of the shy student that would support others.” For her, Columbia represented a place where she could flourish and feel comfortable in her surroundings, while also appealing to her technical prowess. “I have always been more of an art and music kid. When I would attend Columbia open house events and tours, the audio department studios were such eye candy that I knew I had to choose Columbia.” In fact, according to Kimberly, attending Columbia brought out a newfound ability to lead. “Columbia has given me opportunities that helped me build my confidence and put me in leadership positions.”

In the process of being active outside of class, Kimberly has also become a well-rounded professional as a result of her education. With experience in music production, live sound, and post-production for film, she has benefitted from the diverse and challenging courses she has taken. In particular she cites the curriculum as providing her with a sense of what is expected in each part of the industry. “A highlight for me would be working on student short films whether in production or post-production for sound. It felt like I was getting a taste of what Hollywood feature films could be like.”

With this being her last year at Columbia, Kimberly put a personal career plan in place before the start of the fall semester. With a recent job offer as a Live Sound Tech at two venues in Chicago, Lincoln Hall/Schubas, her plan has fallen into place quite nicely as she states. “A goal was to obtain a job in the audio field and continue to grow my network. I believe I’ve accomplished both! I’m ready to grow my audio knowledge in the live field and meet other people in the industry, as well as performing artists at the venues.”

With graduation in May 2022, Kimberly had time to reflect on her budding career, and offer this advice to students. “Be genuine and don’t compare yourself to the success of others around you. Imposter syndrome can easily get the best of us!”

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