Victor Jarvis, a Woodbury University Business School management student, jumped right into the 3+1 BBA/MBA Accelerated program, designed for students wanting to get both their BBA in Management and an MBA in just four years. Starting his second year (Fall 2020), Victor anticipates graduating in 2023. A professional trained dancer, he shares his passion for the arts, along with his desire to create a business that helps transform underserved communities in the following interview.
I was born and raised in West Michigan until the age of 14, when I moved to New York City to attend the School of American Ballet (SAB). Both my parents were professional ballet dancers with Compania Nacional de Danza, the official ballet company of Mexico, located in Mexico City. They encouraged me to try dancing and performing, which allowed me to follow my dreams and train at SAB. We had our dormitory, cafeteria, conditioning facilities, and dance studios all in one building, and I lived and studied there for five years, from the ages of 14-19. I attended Professional Performing Arts School (PPAS) for my high school academics, which was a great experience. I was able to be around other students who were elite and passionate artists, and our schedules were modified to allow time for training in our respective disciplines. I would go to school during the day, then train at SAB from 2-7 p.m.
I am a transfer student. After graduating from Professional Performing Arts School in 2012, I attended Fordham University’s part-time continuing studies program. Thanks to SAB’s partnership with Fordham, I was able to start my higher education, while finishing up my dance training and auditioning for companies. In 2014, I was offered a job dancing with Verb Ballets in Cleveland, Ohio, where I danced many classical and modern works. In 2015, I joined the newly reformed Cleveland Ballet for its first season and danced there until 2018. In July 2018, I was offered a contract with State Street Ballet in Santa Barbara. I spent one season in Santa Barbara and moved to Los Angeles in the summer of 2018 to focus on my education.
I noticed a real disconnect between the artistic and executive sides of many organizations I had been involved in, which lead me to consider an education focusing on business management. I was also inspired to return to education full-time after working as a dance teacher throughout my time in Cleveland. I believe my artistic experience combined with my business interests will help define my success in the future.
There were many reasons I chose Woodbury, but its small size really attracted me. I felt that I would get the most out of my education by being able to interact more closely and regularly with faculty, students, and staff.
I already mentioned the small class sizes and regular interaction with others, but the Management program specifically stands out for its balance of interests. We are learning the fundamentals necessary to survive in the business world, but also focusing on sustainability and social responsibility, which is unique. Our business knowledge is supplemented with a diverse range of subjects. Woodbury’s Management program has helped me cultivate a business attitude emphasizing the creation of value that benefits society, and its role as a catalyst for profitability.
I have to say that all of my experiences at Woodbury are meaningful and relevant. I took a break from school and worked for a few years before returning to academia full-time, and it has made me grateful for the opportunity to focus on learning. That being said, I think many of the events put on by members of Woodbury’s Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO) have been particularly meaningful. During my first semester at Woodbury, I joined CEO, and was lucky enough to help put together the event for Breast Cancer Awareness Day. I reached out to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and arranged for a breast cancer survivor to share her story and educate others on how to spot warning signs while advocating for preventative care. We were able to raise some funds for breast cancer research, which is personally important to me as my mother is also a survivor of breast cancer. Woodbury’s “Creative Minds Conference” was also a great event. Its “So You Think You Can Sell” competition was lots of fun and it was a great chance to network with a wide range of professionals. I also recommend any of Professor Rossen Ventzislavov’s events. I attended one of his “Boxing Philosophical” debates on censorship in art, which was particularly eye-opening.
Yes, I am currently the Vice President of Woodbury’s Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO). We are working on booking a guest speaker each month for a virtual Q&A with students, discussing their professional experience throughout this pandemic, what they look for in prospective employees and coworkers, and any other questions that may come to mind. CEO promotes entrepreneurship, and it is a great place to go if you have a business idea and you want to get some feedback, or help getting started. You can check us out on Instagram @ceo_woodbury.
I already covered my previous work experience above, and I’m currently a freelance dancer and teacher. Before the pandemic I was teaching dance in El Monte, and now I have started to teach virtually. As a dance teacher and freelance dancer, you are an independent contractor for most jobs, and being self-employed has helped me understand the importance of having business knowledge, and how it can improve even seemingly unrelated areas of your life. I also just started working as a math and writing tutor through Woodbury’s tutoring center.
I think many people at Woodbury have stood out as mentors, especially several of my professors. I won’t single one out, but those I consider mentors have shared their knowledge in a non-prescriptive way, have gone the extra mile to help relate class material to real-life goals, and have taken the time to answer questions. I also value and highly recommend the “Executive-in-Residence Program” that offers 30-minute one-on-one sessions with members of the School of Business Advisory Board.
My career goal is to create a successful arts organization that helps revitalize disadvantaged communities by promoting arts education and providing a safe space for artists from all disciplines to collaborate, develop, and perform new work. I want to pursue my passion for art and collaboration, and use the knowledge from my time at Woodbury to create sustainable operations that enhance the quality of art and innovation. That being said, it will be a long road to get to where I want to be. Realistically I plan on applying to work for different arts organizations upon graduation, so that I can understand what other people are doing, and what does or does not work.
The advice I would give to any students considering Woodbury’s Business School would be that your education starts and ends with you. No matter what school you choose, you can only get as much out of your education as you are willing to put in. Woodbury has the advantage of being a smaller community, so if you put in the effort, it will be noticed and rewarded. A smaller campus allows people to truly get to know one another, which allows for more significant growth opportunities beyond what is covered in class material, as well as more meaningful interactions that build a stronger network. Talk to as many people as you can, get to know them, and ask questions!
Last Updated on August 28, 2020