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Already getting noticed locally and internationally as a touring musician and recording artist, Terry Chen still felt he needed something more to secure his long-term success.

After two years working on a Bachelor of Music in piano performance at UBC, Chen joined the UBC Bachelor + Master of Management Dual Degree program so that he can complete business courses at the UBC Sauder School of Business at the same time as finishing up his music degree.

He says the program is providing him with the skills and network opportunities he needs to gain a competitive advantage as a professional musician and music industry professional.

Dual degree

Dual degree

What attracted you to the dual degree?

When I was just studying music, I was learning a lot and enjoying the program, but at the same time I was just a little lost. I was struggling to figure out how I could make the most of my abilities and be confident that I had a strong career ahead of me. I saw that the dual degree would open doors for me and lead to a lot of new possibilities.

When I started learning more about the program, I really liked the idea of becoming a part of this group of highly motivated students from a wide range of backgrounds, all seeking to get a leg up in completely different fields.

How do you see the dual degree helping your career?

Since I’ve started the program, my career goals have definitely broadened. I’m still keen on a performing career, but I’m also becoming interested in opening up a music studio, or managing other artists. I’m well aware that performing is one of those things you might not be able to do for your whole life, so to start a company could make for a much more stable career.

But even if I do have a full career as a recording and performing artist, I know this will still help me. The music industry can be very tricky and you need to be careful – understanding the business aspect of what I’m doing will really help me stay on track, work well with other people and market myself. In fact, marketing is what’s attracted me the most so far at UBC Sauder. I’ve already learned a lot about how to market myself to stand out in a very competitive business. That’s not only self-promotion, as I’m also improving my interviewing skills, learning the ropes of the business world and finding new ways of adding value to what I enjoy the most: performing.

I’m learning the best of both worlds and how to put it all into practice.

Now that you’re in the program, what do you like best?

Right off the bat I really liked how much teamwork there is in my business classes. It’s really interesting working with classmates from Arts, Science, Forestry and so on, and getting to know them.

I also really appreciate how my professors get to know everyone on an individual basis. For a lot of university students, you’re just a face in a big crowd, but in this program, the instructors really focus on every student.

And I’m excited to be a part of this whole network at Sauder. As soon as you graduate from the program, you’re a Sauder alum, and still connected to your old classmates, so I’m looking forward to making the most of all of these connections I wouldn’t have made if I’d stayed just in the School of Music.

Interested in applying?

Students can enter the B+MM program either directly out of high school or after two years of university.

Application deadlines:

  • For high school students who are applying or have applied for an eligible UBC undergraduate degree: January 31, 2016
  • For current second year UBC students enrolled in an eligible faculty: February 28, 2016

Key features of the program:

  • Gain both a bachelor’s degree in a field you’re passionate about and a Master of Management in only 4.5 years. Learn more about the program journey.
  • Build a successful career in any sector with the fundamentals of business.
  • Get career development support from the start of the program, including effective networking skills, career coaching, job search techniques and mock interview practice.
  • Learn with the best students across UBC from fields such as Computer Science, Music, Kinesiology and Economics.