Entrepreneurship and Career Development

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The Jacobs School is grateful for support and assistance from The Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Kelley School of Business.

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Where are they now?

The Project Jumpstart team changes every year and constantly strives to bring new voices to the table. Check out what some of our Project Jumpstart alumni have to say about their time on the team and how it has influenced where they currently are in their careers - both in and outside of the Jacobs School of Music.

Natalie Martell (BM '16) was a member of the 2015-2016 Project Jumpstart team.

NMNatalie graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Certificate in Arts Administration. With  a focus in merging these two worlds together, Natalie is pursuing a  dual Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Master of Business Administration at the University of Cincinnati. In addition, she will be working as the opera department graduate assistant at the UC College-Conservatory of Music, under opera and film director Robin Guarino. Natalie is thrilled to be entering this presitgious program and is looking forward to a career in arts management post-graduation.

"Project Jumpstart had a tremendous impact in my professional life in terms of allowing me to discover the many possibilites for careers in music outside of performance. In addition, I learned a lot about the power of networking and relationship building, a skill that is so essential in today's world. The skills I developed while working for this great team are ones I will take with me into graduate school and throughout my professional work."

Elleka Okerstrom (MM '17) was a member of the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 Project Jumpstart teams.

EOSoprano Elleka Okerstrom recently completed the first year of her her MM degree at the Jacobs School of Music, studying with Dr. Brian Horne. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from DePauw University in 2014 and was a member of the music honors society, Pi Kappa Lambda. Prior to her work with Project Jumpstart, Elleka spent a year working for the DePauw University School of Music as the Graduate Intern for the school's 21st-Century Musician Initiative (21CM)- a complete re-imagining of the skills, tools, and experiences necessary to create musicians of the future instead of the past.

"My time with Project Jumpstart has been a truly eye-opening experience that has greatly influenced the way in which I view the world of music. Through my work on the team I have been able to deepen my understanding of my role as a musician in society and how we can all use our passion for music as a way to catalyze positive change in our communities. I feel extremely lucky to be a part of this wonderful organization for a second year and I can't wait to see the progress that we make."

Rachel Rodgers (BM '17) was a member of the 2014-2015 Project Jumpstart team.


Rachel Rodgers is a rising senior at the IU Jacobs School of Music, currently pursuing a degree in Flute Performance with a minor in jazz studies and earning a certificate in Music Entrepreneurship from the music school and the Kelley School of Business. She currently has a full private music studio, comprised of both piano and flute students and is in the beginning stages of writing and planning a new jazz/contemporary music CD to be released post-graduation. Rachel also continues to run and shoot for her photography business, Rachel Rodgers Photography.

"Project Jumpstart was one of the best experiences of my education and career yet. It gave me skills in many different fields - advising, arts administration, public speaking, social media, and entrepreneurship, within the music world. I have Project Jumpstart to thank for the opportunities I was able to implement them."

Kevin Miescke (DMA '16) was a member of the 2012-2013 Project Jumpstart team.

KMKevin is a doctoral candidate at the Jacobs School of Music, and plans to complete the degree of Doctor of Music in Horn Performance in the fall semester of 2016. In May of 2015, Kevin was selected as the Instructor of Horn at Eastern Illinois Universiy in Charleston, Illinois and will continue his appointment as a full time faculty member starting this fall. Kevin recently helped launch a professional horn quartet, The Skylark Quartet. The mission of the ensemble is to share the rich heritage of American art song, with a specific focus on composers from Indiana. Kevin's experience with Project Jumpstart provided him with the skills necessary to accomplish many of his professional and musical achievements to date. This program exposed him to the possibilites available to modern, musicians, and showed him how to create the life and career he wanted.

Rosa Li (BM '14) was a member of the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 Project Jumpstart teams. 


Pianist Rosa Li is a recent graduate of Columbia University where she earned a Masters in Arts Administration. Prior to moving to New York, Rosa attended Indiana University where she graduated with honors from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, earning a Bachelor of Music and Performer Diploma in Piano Performance, as well as a minor in Economics. Rosa recently served in marketing, special events, and development roles for Portland Piano International, Chamber Music Northwest, and The Metropolitan Opera. As a member of the 2012-13 and 2014-15 Project Jumpstart teams, she continues her work in artistic entrepreneurship as the Coordinator of the Center for Music Entrepreneurship at the Manhattan School of Music. This Fall, Rosa will attend The Julliard School.

"Being a part of Project Jumpstart encouraged me to 'think outside the box' about cultural entrepreneurship and artistic career development, both fields of interest which I continue to explore in my current work. I'm grateful to have been given the opportunity to be a part of the Jumpstart team!"

Christian Purdy (BME '17) was a member of the 2015-2016 Project Jumpstart team. 


Christian is entering his fifth year of undergraduate work at Indiana University, pursuing a degree in General Music Education from the Jacobs School of Music and the Johnson Certificate of Music Entrepreneurship from the Kelley School of Business. As an advocate for high-quality music education, Christian is dedicated to educational entrepreneurship and innovation. He served as president of Indiana University’s award-winning student chapter of the National Association for Music Education, and recently completed a 2-year term as the collegiate representative on the Board of Directors of the Indiana Music Education Association. Christian is currently student teaching at Binford Elementary School with Lisa Zorn, and will return to campus to complete coursework in spring 2017.

“Working with the Project Jumpstart team was an experience that challenged me in new and diverse ways. Project Jumpstart encouraged me to explore all areas of a career and life in music, and I developed many of the skills I now know I’ll need to advance myself professionally.”