This Charlotte artist kick-started her career as an undergrad – here’s how she’s taking it to the next level.

This Charlotte artist kick-started her career as an undergrad – here’s how she’s taking it to the next level.
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This paid content was created in partnership with UNC Charlotte.


Anyone who has ever made it will tell you how hard they worked to make it happen. Dreams do come true – but you need the right tools to make it happen, and good connections often play a part.

Artist and travel enthusiast Hannah Milillo knows this; she transferred to UNC Charlotte in the fall of 2016 from Long Island, N.Y. for a one-of-a-kind education and to tap into Charlotte’s art scene.

Hannah says, “Charlotte’s art scene is so unique because the artists truly stand out among the financially-centered city. Pushing boundaries and breaking norms are what I admire most about Charlotte artists. The art scene throughout the city is bold, innovative, and makes a statement. It’s very complementary to the business world.”

After completing an art history undergraduate degree, Hannah is now part of the first cohort pursuing the region’s first M.S. in Management degree – and the only program of its kind in Charlotte – offered at UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business.

It’s an immersive fast-track learning experience where you can earn your master’s degree in less than a year. And, while the degree builds on knowledge from undergraduate studies, the main goal is to prepare you to hit the ground running and be work-ready for the challenges of a face-paced world. Majors represent a diverse cohort of students and include communications, engineering, biology and more.

Hannah, whose undergraduate major was art history says, “I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of the inaugural M.S. in Management cohort. This degree will allow me to stand out from others and to transform my passion for art and art history into a more professional setting. I joined the program to learn business skills that will help me land my dream job of becoming a Disney Imagineer.”

Hannah is already putting to use what she has learned; she sells original paintings and sketches inspired by her travels through her budding Etsy shop ‘The Painted Atlas’.

“My style focuses mostly on landscapes and natural scenes – the greatest thing about art is the ability to find and present elements of everyday life that are normally overlooked,” says Hannah, who was recently commissioned to paint a 40′ x 8′ mural of the Blue Ridge Mountains at ComplianceLine in Charlotte.

Working hard to be prepared for business success, Hannah is also aiming to have staying power. “I am the sole artist behind my business, whose inspiration comes from nature and exploration. I started it to inspire others to appreciate the beauty of the outdoors and to take care of our earth.”

She takes the mission seriously and is taking advantage of all the M.S. in Management has to offer. The program’s unique approach develops real-world skills and scenarios, including cultivating authentic relationships with employers, and enhancing students’ job search skills during in-person recruitment events.

Hannah says, “Through professional development, our Belk College of Business advisor, Solange Tricanowicz, provides invaluable support and networking connections for us. Our cohort attends events, seminars, and meetings in order to expand our network and meet professionals in our industry.”

The first cohort will graduate this upcoming May. Hannah plans to stay in Charlotte but says, “My ultimate goal is to push myself outside of my comfort zone and learn everything I can. Traveling, learning new things, and meeting new people sparks a deep-seated passion in me, and I hope to teach others the importance of tolerance and knowledge in our society.”


Learn more about the M.S. in Management at Belk College of Business here.
All photos courtesy of Hannah Milillo.
This paid content was created in partnership with UNC Charlotte.

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