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Articles / Applying to College / Summer Arts Programs for Aspiring Business Major?

Summer Arts Programs for Aspiring Business Major?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | March 5, 2005

Question: If I want to major in business, can I take music and art programs in the summer, or do I need to do something related to business to grab colleges' attention?

Colleges are interested in students with a range of interests and abilities, regardless of academic and career goals. Thus, admission committees will not look askance at your art and music summer pursuits. On the other hand, many applicants indicate an interest in business but have little to show on their applications when it comes to demonstrating an understanding of--or passion for--that field.

So, ideally, you should do both. For instance, take those art and music classes but start your own small business on the side. It need not be a Fortune 500 company, but perhaps you could sell homemade baked goods or crafts, tend to pets for vacationers, or come up with an idea that's far more original and creative than mine.

Alternatively, you could take summer courses in arts and business. If you'll be attending an arts-only program, consider an online course in marketing, economics, accounting, etc. that you can take while you're in the arts program, before it starts, or after it ends. That way, you'll REALLY be showing admission committees your multi-faceted talents and interests (and you'll also be helping to determine if business courses are really for you).

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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