Hannah Milillo ’18 is enthusiastic about her love of art and culture, and her goal is to share that excitement with the world. Currently, the aspiring “art adventurist” is completing a Master of Science in Management through the UNC Charlotte Belk College of Business.
“By earning a graduate degree in management, I’m learning to leverage business skills to effectively share my appreciation and passion for adventure and art,” she said.
Milillo recognizes a kindred spirit in the late celebrity chef and travel documentarian Anthony Bourdain. Known for exploring international culture and cuisine, Bourdain immersed himself in the adventures of people and places far away. It’s that passion for adventure and a desire to share it that Milillo hopes to emulate.
Naturally creative, Milillo is drawn to world cultures and the stories that live through art. She draws strength from art exploration and wants to offer that to others by interpreting art from around the globe.
“My goal is to bring home other cultures through my experiences,” said Milillo. “People have started to refer to me as ‘the Anthony Bourdain of art,’ which is both a tremendous honor and responsibility. It’s a privilege to share my life purpose with others as a profession.”
After completing an art history degree from UNC Charlotte last spring, Milillo recognized the need to enhance her fine arts background with advanced studies in business management. That led her to pursue Belk College’s M.S. in Management; Milillo is part of the first cohort to complete this degree.
A PATH TO PURPOSE
The Long Island native began her educational journey in Pennsylvania; however, Charlotte’s burgeoning arts environment lured her to the Queen City.
“Transferring to UNC Charlotte enabled me to complete my undergraduate degree at a leading urban research university with a strong connection to the arts,” Milillo stated.
As a senior, she began to consider ways to combine her love of art and sense of adventure into a career. A number of possible avenues would lead to the goal of “living at the intersection of culture, history, education and travel.” Ultimately, she realized the need to bridge her aspirations with the demands of prospective employers.
“The M.S. in Management is providing the tools I will need to successfully share my art and discoveries with others,” said Milillo, who is active in the Charlotte arts community.
She currently owns a mural artwork services business that she is seeking to grow. Another option is to become a Disney Imagineer, the artists who serve as the creative force behind Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
To support her goals, Milillo has taken advantage of the robust networking opportunities provided to the M.S. in Management students. She has met with two former Disney employees, who have provided her insight into the professional atmosphere of this world-renowned media enterprise. As an added bonus, each student in the M.S. in Management program receives a tailored professional development program with resources and career coaching specific to the individual’s job search.
As she explores the professional opportunities ahead, Milillo—through exposure to and understanding of key business functions such as accounting, finance, marketing and management—will be in an enviable position. Bolstered by her passion for art and the business skills she is acquiring, Milillo is confident of her ability to heed the words of Anthony Bourdain: “If I’m an advocate for anything, it is to move—as far as you can, as much as you can, across the ocean or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes…it’s a plus for everybody.”