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Business students reveal musical side as part of project

Nov. 7, 2006

By GREER KINSEY
Reporter

For one strategic management class, the word "project" has taken on a new meaning.

Waco senior Micah Klussmann said when Dr. Jamie Collins walked into class in August, he gave his students an ultimatum. They could do a "boring consulting project" or start and manage their own band.

Klussmann and Silver Springs senior Bryan Dodd are now the managers of the band, Project Graduate.

"We were going to use 'Don't Fail Us,' but Dr. Collins didn't like the connotation," Klussmann said.

Klussmann said his classmates divided themselves into three basic groups: a marketing and logistics team, presentation team and a managing team.

He said Collins gave the class certain requirements for the project that had to be met by Nov. 30. He told them they must perform in two venues, write an original song and write two 10-page progress reports. Klussmann said in addition to the requirements to be met in class, the band members have also set their own milestones.

They have two venues booked: The Den in the Bill Daniel Student Center and next to Seasons Creamery in North Village. They've also already written a song, "Boy Meets Girl," written by Arlington senior Megan Murray.

The band consists of lead singer Julia Stark, a Nebraska City, Neb., senior; guitarist Megan Murray, a Barrington, Ill., senior; drummer Craig Myer, a Greentown, Ind., senior; bassist Tyler White, a Humble senior; and keyboardist Jonathon Walker, a Friendswood senior.

"We had people in our class who had a lot of music experience so it wasn't much of a stretch," Klussmann said.

Project Graduate will record a five-song CD today at the Texas Playhouse, Dodd said. He said the possibility of releasing the CD is still being debated.

Klussmann said that this is Collins' first year at Baylor, as well as his first time to offer the project.

Klussmann, Murray and Dodd all agreed that the project has been a significant amount of work, but the hard work has been beneficial.

"We expected there to be challenges in the beginning because there were no real guidelines," Dodd said.

Klussmann said he's put at least 150 hours into the project, which he said is much more hands-on than writing a paper.

"It's like you plan something and think it only has 10 steps, but in reality there are 300 steps," he said.

Murray said she's had "a great time" with the project and is passionate about succeeding.

"It's a lot more work than i thought it would be, but I'd like to perfect it and make it as good as I can," she said.

Klussmann also said Dr. Collins has "thrown a few curveballs" at the group. He set a mandatory performance date of Nov. 28 at 4 p.m. in North Village. He also recently announced the performance must be all acoustic.

Project Graduate's first performance will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday in The Den at the Bill Daniels Student Center. Admission is free.