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Marketing Major I’Ja Wright Drives on the Fast Track to Success

Transferring to Columbia College Chicago, junior Marketing major I’Ja Wright arrived with not just a passion for the arts, but a desire to jump right in and get involved within the Columbia community. With her first semester in fall of 2021, she has made an impact that has been felt school wide.

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, and a graduate of the prestigious Cleveland School of the Arts, Ija’s route to becoming immersed in the arts was strengthened by a high school program that left no stone unturned for her artistic endeavors. “Growing up surrounded by the vibrant culture of Cleveland, I was fortunate to attend a school that nurtured my passion for the arts. Cleveland School of the Arts provided a unique environment where I, as a Black student, felt not only supported but celebrated for my creativity. The school's focus on the arts allowed me to find my voice and express myself through theater, which became a pivotal part of my journey. Through theater, I discovered the power of narrative and its ability to evoke emotion and drive change. This realization ignited my interest in pursuing a career that combines marketing with entertainment, where I could continue to leverage storytelling to connect with audiences.”

When making the decision to attend Columbia, I’Ja immediately knew she had made the right choice. “Coming from a background deeply rooted in the arts, I was drawn to Columbia's diverse range of programs that allowed me to explore my interests in marketing within the context of entertainment and creative industries.”

At Columbia, I’Ja has become a leader with several student organizations. This leadership has led to countless opportunities for students within groups in which she is involved. “As a student leader, I am involved in several organizations that allow me to engage with my peers and contribute to the campus community. In my role as a LEAD Ambassador and SDI Student Manager, I am responsible for planning events and programs that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus. Additionally, I am a Student Leader with the Scholars Project, where I provide support and guidance to fellow students while contributing to campus-wide initiatives.”

I’Ja has also found time to gain experience in the radio field by hosting a radio program at WCRXFM, which she says, “was instrumental in shaping my confidence and communication skills.” Additionally, she holds a key role as a student marketing assistant in the Career Center, which involves her creating engaging content for social media and supporting various projects related to employer outreach and event planning.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention Ija’s Internships in the industry which has, in her words, “has been essential in providing me with real-world experience and helping me refine my skills in marketing and digital media. Each internship has offered unique learning opportunities and insights into different aspects of the industry, further solidifying my career goals and aspirations.”

Ija’s empathetic nature is evident in her care and desire to assist others. When asked what advice she had for students who are either coming in as transfer students or freshmen, she had this to say. “Fully immerse yourself in the vibrant creative community and take advantage of the countless opportunities for growth and exploration. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and pursue your passions wholeheartedly.”

With one year left until graduation, I’Ja is utilizing her time to reflect, and has some future goals mapped out. “I aspire to continue making an impact in the digital marketing realm, particularly within the entertainment industry. Whether it's through storytelling, content creation, or brand management, I hope to leverage my creative expertise to drive success and inspire change in the industry.”

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