MBA Alumna is Director of Design at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh Alumni Profile
Meet Anne Fullenkamp
- Job Title & Employer
- Director of Design, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
- August 2010
- Baltimore, Md.
- High School
- St. Paul’s School for Girls
- Now Living In
- Pittsburgh, Pa.
"Anne is uniquely qualified for the role of both director of design and business development. Her architectural background and 10 years of experience designing in-house exhibits combined with her business acumen are key to the successful development of our traveling exhibit and design program. Point Park University's MBA program gave Anne the tools to launch the successful exhibit design program for out-of-house clients."
"The MBA program had an important impact on my career. I was working as a designer for the Museum when I decided to go back to school to get an MBA concentrated in sports, arts and entertainment management because I wanted to learn more about the business side of museums and nonprofits ... I would not have known how to help build this department without my time at Point Park. "
Tell us about the work you do for the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.
I oversee the design and development of exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, including our permanent art collection. I also oversee and manage our Business Development Initiative, a program through which we provide design services, exhibit components and traveling exhibits as a way to earn revenue for the museum. This is a unique model for a nonprofit, but is a way for us to maximize the value of the work we were already doing.
How has our MBA program helped you advance as a museum professional?
The MBA program had an important impact on my career. I was working as a designer for the Museum when I decided to go back to school to get an MBA concentrated in sports, arts and entertainment management because I wanted to learn more about the business side of museums and nonprofits.
I was getting more involved in the earned revenue opportunities at CMP working with our traveling exhibits and applied what I was learning in my classes to my work. After I graduated, I began to explore more ideas that could make our exhibits more fiscally sustainable and self-supporting. Around the same time, funding sources for nonprofits were shifting and the Museum decided to explore more entrepreneurial approaches to generate income.
Because of the experience I had at Point Park, I was able to respond to these new opportunities and help be a part of the new program from the beginning. I knew how to write a business plan, communicate effectively with our finance team and actively participate in the discussions about new business enterprise. Frankly, some people were surprised because they just knew me as a designer and didn’t know I had this other interest.
In the end, both roles dovetailed together. Since the initiative was first launched in late 2014 and my accepting the role of associate director of business development at that time, we have grown from an experiment to help offset expenses for new exhibits by selling some small exhibits and furniture to a fully operating business line in the Museum that is responsible for 25 percent of our total earned revenue. I would not have known how to help build this department without my time at Point Park.
What factors made you choose Point Park University for graduate school?
I chose Point Park based on its reputation in the arts, location in Downtown Pittsburgh and relationships with the real world (theaters, sports teams and other businesses that partner with the University) and the weekend class schedule. Point Park was an affordable and accessible option for me because I could continue to work full time.
What are your favorite Point Park grad school memories?
I enjoyed the guest lecturers that professors brought in to talk about their work. Being in the SAEM concentration, it was especially exciting to hear first-person accounts from celebrities and people who work directly with them in the music and sports worlds. It was important to see how the work we were doing in school could be applied directly to our careers.
What advice do you have for our students pursuing careers in the arts management field?
It is very important to work in the field and get experience. The arts are a very hands-on profession and you need to understand all aspects of the work from prepping for events to fundraising to working on the creative side. It is all connected and the more you understand how one part affects another, the more effective you will be in a management and oversight role.