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The Business of Show Business

The UBC B+MM Dual Degree allows strategically focused achievers like Emily Peck to combine a Bachelor’s Degree with a Master of Management and fast track their passion into a profession.


Meet Emily

When she was in elementary school, Emily Peck set a goal for herself: to write a play. Fast forward to university and she’s seen one of her plays performed on stage in Vancouver’s Granville Island theatre district.

Emily Peck

Now, she’s using her artistic talent coupled with the business acumen she’s gained at UBC Sauder to take her career to the next level.

“I’ve always had a passion for the arts,” says Peck, who is enhancing her BFA in Creative Writing with a Master of Management at UBC Sauder as part of the 4.5-year-long B+MM Dual Degree Program.

“I wanted to get a business education because I wanted to be able to feed myself while feeding my soul,” she says.

While the fine arts and business may seem like an unexpected coupling, Peck says they balance each other in more ways than one might think.

“To me it’s such an obvious pairing,” Peck says. “When you’re in the arts, you are your own business. You have to know how to market yourself, how to brand yourself, how to sell your own work, how to finance your projects.”

That’s where her Master of Management from UBC Sauder will come in handy.

“You’re doing a lot of self-pitching as an emerging artist,” she says. “You’re constantly searching for funding, you’re constantly looking for space. The process builds up grit, which is something you need in both the art and business world.”

A Supportive Environment

Peck has long been active in the theatre as an actor as well as a writer. The skills she’s gained as both a performer and creator have come in handy in her business classes at UBC Sauder.

“Being in the arts world has taught me creative problem solving, which seamlessly integrates into business,” she says.

Subjects like finance, however, were new to Peck.

“Numbers aren’t my strong suit,” she says. “But I like a challenge. Plus, UBC Sauder is such a supportive environment that even when I took a risk and branched out into a new area, I felt like the professors and other students had my back.”

Not only were these new-to-her subjects surprisingly accessible to Peck, many of them were eye-opening too.


“I had never even heard of organizational behaviour before I started the MM portion of my degree,” she says. “I found it one of my most engaging classes – the psychology behind it is fascinating.”

Part of what brought Peck to UBC Sauder in the first place was the career guidance, support and mentorship of UBC Sauder’s Hari B. Varshney Business Career Centre (BCC).

“Whenever I think the BCC has done the most they can possibly do for me, they go even further,” she says. “I can contact them with anything and they’re so responsive - helping me strategize about what I want out of the program in the big-picture sense and with specific details like whether I should do an international exchange.”

“It’s given me exposure to the practice of business, not just the theory of it.”

On the World Stage Emily Peck

Today, Peck has checked one big to-do off her list: one of her scripts was performed on Granville Island as part of the Brave New Play Rites festival.

“It was a big moment for me,” she says. “It was the first time I’ve written a script and then handed it off to another director to bring to life.”

Now that she’s establishing herself as a bold new talent, Peck is strategizing about her next steps, specifically where in the world she would like to expand her experience.

“I grew up in BC and I love how supportive the arts community is, but I’d like to get experience in London, New York or LA too,” she says.

“I live my life being open-minded – I’ve found that’s how the most rewarding opportunities present themselves,” she says.

“With my UBC B+MM I can prove that I’ll be a valuable asset to whichever team I ultimately join, whether that’s locally or abroad.”