Taylor Swift college course seeks to inspire students to emulate her business acumen


Berkeley, California — You might not expect a business school course to start with students singing Taylor Swift's “Cruel Summer,” but at the University of California, Berkeley, Swift isn't just a “tortured poet”, is a case study in how to build an empire.

“Taylor Swift is a phenomenon,” UC Berkeley senior Sejal Krishnan, majoring in chemical engineering, told CBS News. “His tour it's essentially revitalized a lot of the economy and boosted the local economy wherever it goes.”

Undergraduates Sofia Lendahl and Miaad Bushala teach Art and Entrepreneurship: Taylor's Version to 44 classmates.

“Taylor is so strategic in everything she does,” Bushala said. “When you think about a brand, that's all they want. They want loyal customers. And that's what Taylor has.”

“There's a reason mainstream institutions are studying this,” Krishnan added. “They know it's a trend.”

Along with UC Berkeley, several universities across the country, including Harvard and Stanford — offering classes on the so-called “Swift Effect” in departments ranging from English to political science to gender studies.

Swift's achievements and failures, including the battle for take back control of his master recordings, are part of the UC Berkeley curriculum.

“We've also seen some of the implications it's had on legal issues like artist rights and ticketing legislation, which has also had a big impact, because that's not something you see every day,” he said. student Will Grischo, who is majoring in media studies and art history.

When asked how their families reacted to taking a course on Taylor Swift?

“My parents were very excited,” Krishnan said. “My mom took me to the 1989 concert.”

“They (my parents) said, 'You have to take this class, if not now, then never,'” said junior Jessica Revolorio, a sociology major who is the first in her family to attend the university in the United States.

And now Swift has some students thinking even more.

“He's incredibly fearless in the ways he doesn't mind taking creative risks,” said student Angelique Zoile, who is studying business. “For me it's like, climbing the corporate ladder … I'll end up as a manager in five years or so.”

Zoile said she is more prepared to take career risks because of this Swift-inspired class.


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