At Findlay, experiential learning is taken seriously. Jamie Rogers, a senior public relations major, planned a successful Battle of Bands as part of her senior project – taking the skills she’s learned during her four years at Findlay to pull off an event that not only showcased her public relations skills but also raised some money for the school’s music program.
Approximately 200 community members gathered at Avenue Cue, a billiards venue in Findlay, to hear six bands battle for $250 on March 26. The entire event was planned, promoted and implemented by Rogers for her senior assessment project.
“I have taken major roles in planning musical events such as Greek Grand Jam, MusikFest and open mic nights on campus,” said Rogers. “For my senior assessment project, I knew that I wanted to plan a musical event that could get a really high attendance.”
Since open mic nights generally take a few weeks or months to become popular, Rogers chose to host a ‘Battle of the Bands.’ That way, the event could give smaller bands a chance to gain exposure with a bit more credibility.
“I love being able to thrust musicians into the spotlight to give them a chance to shine and meet with other musicians,” said Rogers. “Hosting a Battle of the Bands could do all of those things.”
All students in the communication department are required to complete a capstone project. Each project must have a client – in this case, the instrumental program – and a project designed to meet the client’s needs.
“In Jamie’s case, she’s affiliated with the instrumental programs and their instrument repair is very low,” said Chris Underation, assistant professor of communication and Roger’s senior assessment advisor. “She wanted to put something together to support that.”
After speaking with Jack Taylor, director of bands, she decided that a battle of the bands would be a great way to support the instrumental programs.
“She admitted that she hadn’t done one of these before, so the process of running a battle of the bands, knowing how points are awarded and how winners are picked, she didn’t know,” said Underation. “Jamie did research by talking to people who have actually hosted them.”
At the end of the spring 2012 semester, Rogers began discussing the project idea with Underation and spent the summer determining the feasibility of the project. Over the fall semester, Rogers created an event plan, wrote a proposal and began registration for the bands in December.
“This experience showed me my strengths in the event planning and promotional process as well as my weaknesses,” said Rogers. “When you are planning an entire event pretty much by yourself, you have to face your weaknesses head on and even go as far as explaining them to the people who are judging the project.”
Rogers started her project with no budget and brought $890 into UF’s instrumental programs, and those from Avenue Cue were thrilled with the event.
“For the purpose of this project, Jamie was the face of this University and the instrumental music programs,” said Underation. “These projects with clients are meant to help students learn how to deal with things in the world the way they are.”
After the event, Rogers presented the full plan at the Symposium for Scholarship and Creativity to the faculty of the communication department, which reviews each senior project for the quality of thought that goes into the proposal and good reflective results.
“I can’t even begin to describe how amazing it was to look at the crowd at the event, see them dancing, cheering and having a good time,” said Rogers. “A student really has unlimited potential and their education is in their own hands when they’re here at Findlay. My biggest take away from this project is that I can do anything I put my mind to.”
Written by Sarah Foltz