The UBC B+MM Dual Degree allows strategically focused achievers like Terry Chen to combine a Bachelor’s Degree with a Master of Management and fast track their passion into a profession.
“My whole life I’ve been playing music,” says Terry Chen. Now, thanks to UBC Sauder, he’s been able to pivot from the performance world to the business world and has landed roles at the music streaming service Spotify and headphone company Beats by Dre.
“Performing and recording have been consistent themes throughout my life,” he says. “I started as a kid learning to play the piano.”
This passion became Terry’s ambition. And he was successful. Very successful; touring throughout North America with notable musical acts.
“Ever since I was a kid I’d dreamed of performing in an arena,” he says. “Before one of those performances I was waiting backstage, about to perform in front of thousands and thousands of people, and I thought ‘Now that I’m here, what am I working toward?’”
That proved to be a turning point for Terry.
“I thought there might be more to me that I could improve on, new ways I could challenge myself,” he says. This insight led Terry to UBC Sauder’s B+MM dual degree, a 4.5-year-long program that lets students earn a Master of Management (MM) on top of their Bachelor’s degree.
One-on-one career guidance
“My first few classes at UBC Sauder were intimidating, but exciting,” he says. “The more I got to know my professors and classmates, the more I realized we’re all on the same page in terms of how we want to challenge ourselves.”
Like all cohorts in the B+MM program, Terry’s was made up of students from varied backgrounds – everything from Forestry to Kinesiology.
“Even though my background is in music and I found myself sitting beside someone in Economics, I realized we had more in common than I first thought,” he says. “That changed things for me; I went from being nervous to being excited about learning new things.”
Terry says his UBC Sauder experience was a major departure from some of his other studies in one notable way.
“I didn’t feel like just another face in the crowd,” he says. “At UBC Sauder my instructors and advisors knew me personally – they understood my background, they knew what I wanted to achieve.”
Nowhere was that more apparent than UBC Sauder’s Hari B. Varshney Business Career Centre (BCC) where Terry found one-on-one support.
“My BCC advisors were some of my strongest supporters,” he says. “The opportunities they sent my way felt tailored to my background as well as the career I want in the future.”
Terry’s music experience and business acumen may have made him a good fit for these opportunities, but it was the soft skills he cultivated during his MM that gave him a competitive advantage.
“Because of the guidance of my instructors and the fact that I was collaborating so closely with my classmates on group projects, I really honed my communication, networking and management skills,” he says.
Talent and business open doors
Terry has now found himself at the intersection of business and music – over the course of his MM he’s landed positions with the music streaming service Spotify and headphone company Beats by Dre, each meshing his longtime passion for music with his newfound business acumen.
“I feel like there are a lot of doors that are open for me now,” he says.
"I really honed my communication, networking and management skills."