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Organizational Behavior Students Tune In to Music Alum

Zach Field '01 Shares Entrepreneurial Story, Thoughts on Business Culture

Zach Field speaks to Organizational Behavior class Photo by Ed Brennen
Zach Field '01, founder and owner of Zach Field Drum Studios and the Musical Suite in Newburyport, speaks to Asst. Prof. Beth Humberd’s Organizational Behavior class.

By Ed Brennen

Students in Asst. Prof. Beth Humberd’s Organizational Behavior class learned about the importance of building and maintaining a business culture as an entrepreneur from UMass Lowell alum Zach Field '01, founder and owner of Zach Field Drum Studios and the Musical Suite in Newburyport.

Field, who earned his degree in music performance from the College of Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, visited the class in early November. Field recounted his career journey, which began 20 years ago when he started offering private drum lessons. Today, Field’s music school is one of the largest in the state, with 500 students and 30 teachers.

“I believe the culture is the ‘vibe’ of your business,” Field told the class. “It’s the feel people have when they walk in, and it’s what people are talking about when they leave. For a music school, that word of mouth is important — the moms and dads talking at the playground. It’s everything to your business.”

While Field was also accepted to the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, he told students he’s glad he chose to attend UMass Lowell instead.

“It’s the best decision I ever made. I am who I am as a person, as a musician and as a professional because of my time here at UMass Lowell,” said Field, who still keeps in touch with several of his former mentors such as Jeffrey Fischer. “I got an unbelievable education here. My percussion professors were among the best in the country.”

Field not only encourages many of his music students to attend UMass Lowell, but he’s also hired several grads as teachers.

“I love hiring UMass Lowell graduates,” he said. “I believe it’s because I had something to prove coming to UMass Lowell. I learned that if you keep being humble but keep proving yourself, it goes a long way.”

Andy Humbred, Beth Humberd and Zach Field after the class Photo by Ed Brennen
Andy Humberd, left, and Zach Field, right, visited Asst. Prof. Beth Humberd's Organizational Behavior class to discuss building and maintaining a business culture.

Field, who has visited Humberd’s classes a half-dozen times over the past decade, said it’s a rewarding way to give back to a university that has helped him achieve so much in life.

“I love sharing my story with students,” he said. “I also like it personally because it gives me a chance to step and analyze my current business every year. I never took business classes, but I’ve had a lot of very successful mentors throughout my life.”

Humberd’s husband, Andy Humberd, also spoke to the class about his experience as sales manager for Putnam Investments. He compared the cultures of the different financial services institutions he’s worked at throughout his career.

“They were able to talk about culture in two totally different professional environments,” Beth Humberd said of the speakers. “They were able to bring it alive and emphasize to students that it really matters in the real world.”