Thursday, April 1, 2021
Spotlighted Student for April, Gabriella Bastek.

Gabriella Bastek
Graduating senior Gabriella Bastez is a double major in Theatre and Dance and Advertising with a minor in Business.

Q: You decided to take an entrepreneurship class as a senior in your studies. What impact do you think this will have on your career?

A: The Women in Entrepreneurship course I took will be impacting my future and career in multiple ways. First, I have found much more confidence in myself as a woman in a business setting! This confidence comes from the leadership of the course & topics discussed during it. Jan Ryan and Kendra Scott truly chose amazing material and projects that gave me knowledge to move forward in the business world and instilled confidence in my skills and place in the industry. I will also be confidently pursuing my own business ideas with a strong and in-depth understanding of the best way to start and execute these ideas. Finally, I will forever be impacted by the inspiration and empowerment from Kendra Scott’s business story and the kindness and generosity of Kendra Scott, Jan Ryan and the many amazing female guest speakers.

Q: What was the key takeaway for you from that first exposure to entrepreneurship? 

A: A key takeaway from my first entrepreneurship course was to have confidence in my ideas and passions. Also that entrepreneurship is not as daunting or impossible as I first thought! Getting to go through the process of starting our own business step by step with professionals in the field, especially when these professionals are strong and smart women, has inspired and empowered me to pursue entrepreneurship. 

Q: Give us a sense of any entrepreneurial ventures you’re currently working on in the cultural arts, or side hustles you’re thinking about.

A: I am currently the social media manager of a nonprofit in Austin titled Leap of Joy. We bring dance and performing arts classes to students in areas that would not have the arts without our programs. I love using both my performing arts and advertising knowledge to spread their mission. In the performing arts, I am currently a private acting coach and a performer in two productions. I have been teaching theater for the past eight years and am excited to work on growing my teaching career outside of a school and taking on more clients. I have loved starting my own teaching business this past summer and continuing it today. I am also a singer and actress in an original musical podcast for children titled Spells of the Seas and an actress in a filmed original play titled This is Life that are both a part of the UT Austin Cohen New Works Festival premiering in the next couple weeks. In the future I hope to combine my love of acting and teaching and bring these passions into a business such as a children’s theater with classes and productions. Whether I end up working in the performing arts, education or advertising industry, I am excited to see where my future leads in entrepreneurship because after this course I know it will absolutely be a part of my future. If anyone reading this is interested in pursuing any entrepreneurship endeavors in these areas or looking for support in their current ideas, I would love to work together!

Q: Did you have any early fears about entrepreneurship?  If so what advice would you give other creatives who have an itch to run a business one day? 

A: Though I am a double major with a Business minor, I was still nervous about fitting in or being unprepared for my entrepreneurship course. However, I was wrong to feel that way! From the very first day, Jan Ryan created an environment of respect for other perspectives and ideas so I felt comfortable to share my thoughts right away. I would love to let other creatives who want to start a business know they have a place in the business industry and should not let anyone tell them differently. An entrepreneurship course is important for creatives to take because you are your own business! As an artist you are selling your skills and services when you audition or work as a freelance artist so this is an amazing course to learn how to clearly and effectively market and manage yourself and your work. 

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