When Career Services and Opera Meet

Posted by on March 21, 2014

When Minnesota School of Business-Richfield’s (MSB) new director of career services joined our team a few months ago, who would have guessed that in addition to her enthusiasm for helping students land jobs, she also had a devotion to musical theater?

Liz Ashantiva (second row, far right), with fellow cast members

Elizabeth (Liz) Ashantiva landed on campus in December of 2013. She brings to MSB seven years in career services.

Liz started down her career services path back in her undergrad days when she landed a job providing welfare-to-work counseling services.  “That was the spark,” says Liz.

Since then she’s acted as a career counselor at Indiana University, and provided resume writing, mock interview, and outplacement services. She even has her own business (where she offers resume writing and career coaching services—when she can find the time)!

But when she isn’t connecting people to new careers, Liz’s creative interests take a different shape. Liz obtained a graduate degree in music and singing has always been her first passion.

“I was never really sure what I was going to do with that degree,” she says.  Although Liz did land some professional performing gigs, the entertainment industry (it turns out) isn’t all that stable. That’s when Liz decided to make a career of career services.

Liz (far right) with castmates

Not wanting to smother her affinity for performing, Liz has found time in her busy schedule to appear in an operetta currently running at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center in Minneapolis (through March 30th).

The Gilbert & Sullivan operetta is entitled “The Grand Duke” and is an updated version of the 118 year-old final collaboration for the pair presented by the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company.

The performance (alternatively titled “The Statutory Duel”) tells the tale of a light opera company planning to overthrow the Grand Duke of their region.  Their plans are upset by a series of mishaps and reversals, yet the players manage to sing and dance their way through it.

Liz plays a character named Martha and she is on stage through most of the performance. Liz is part of an almost 30 member cast (who knew we had so many operatic singers in the Twin Cities?) and an orchestra of over 50!

Liz spent about four weeks rehearsing, with the last week and half requiring 3-4 hours of rehearsal per day. The only performance she plans to miss is MSB’s winter quarter graduation day.

Of performing, Liz says, “I like it because it is a way of communicating with an audience and with people. I just love singing—musical theater or opera. I like the chance to explore different personalities and characters.”

Don’t wait until the fat lady sings: be sure to make it out to watch our multi-talented campus chanteuse perform!

Thank you for your Interest in Minnesota School of Business.