Our Stories

Leaning into a ‘Year of Yes’

Entertainment marketer felt empowered to take on new adventures.

Jen Bacchus
Account Executive, 160over90

Vanderbilt Master of Marketing 2022

Jen Bacchus, a self-described “music nerd,” first got involved in entertainment marketing as a fan. When she was 15, explains the Edmonton, Alberta, native, she created a Twitter account so she could tweet about her favorite indie artist, Vance Joy, “without annoying my friends” on her personal account. After several months, Joy’s management team noticed—and asked Jen to help them increase the artist’s presence on Twitter and develop new fan engagement strategies.

“This meant running giveaways, planning meet-and-greets, and even working backstage at Vance Joy’s concerts,” she says. “It was a dream come true” that inspired her to pursue a career in the field. The year before she entered graduate school, Jen even launched her business, Bacchus Creative, which develops digital marketing strategies for a handful of clients.

Coincidentally, Jen had wanted to attend Vanderbilt since her fifth-grade year, when a close family friend (and Owen alum) gifted her a Vanderbilt hoodie after a business trip to Nashville. When she looked at Master of Marketing programs, she chose Vanderbilt over two other prestigious schools. “I had to follow my heart,” Jen says. It helped, she quickly adds, that “Vanderbilt’s MMark program was by far the best suited to what I was looking for.”

That went beyond the curriculum and caliber of the professors. “At Owen,” she says, “you can truly get to know your peers, faculty, and staff at the Career Management Center. I never felt lost in the shuffle, as my needs were always at the forefront of Owen’s efforts. The personalized support is truly what differentiates the school. The ability to collaborate with a ton of students while also having a small class size and faculty and staff members who know you has been great.”

The program also enabled Jen, who never thought of herself as adventurous, to be involved and take on new challenges—“to say yes to everything and put myself out there, even if it seemed uncomfortable at first.” She describes her experience as a “Year of Yes.” And when it was done, Jen said yes to a position in entertainment marketing in Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the U.S.

Fun Fact: When not at Owen during her time at Vanderbilt, Jen could most often be found watching movies at the Belcourt, Nashville’s independent art house cinema, or at her favorite music venues such as Basement East and Brooklyn Bowl.

Vanderbilt’s MMark program was by far the best suited to what I was looking for.