Eastern is a springboard into the pond of life: Jump big!

She has only weeks before her college career officially ends, the culmination of a 16-year academic trajectory, and she is beaming. Her excitement sneaks through her words as if she is describing an upcoming marriage, or possession of a winning lottery ticket.

“I love what I’m doing,” says Kay Zittrer, a marketing major graduating a semester early. “And I only wish that confidence on all the students at Eastern.”

What Kay is doing is forming her own artist management company, LikeGiants Management.

And once she walks down the aisle at December’s graduation, she plans to launch full-time into the management of musical artists such as Jenny McIntyre, whose album is scheduled for a March 2007 release and whose fall 2007 tour is already in the works.

Kay’s excitement is contagious. She speaks with passion–articulate and engaging–which is perhaps why her parents thought she was destined for politics.

Politically savvy she may be, but the politician hat was a bad fit, and she quickly dropped her political science major after her first American government class.

“I hated it,” she says.

But she had options. A lifetime of singing and a background in business found convergence after Kay’s first-year adviser suggested she look into the Contemporary Music Center, a semester-long CCCU program on Martha’s Vineyard designed for Christian students interested in the music industry.

“As soon as [my adviser] told me about this program, the lights clicked on,” Kay says. “This is really where I needed to be, and I was going to do anything on my part to get there.”

The program was spiritually formative and vocationally challenging, Kay says. Classes mixed faith and theology with the realities of both the secular and Christian music industries, two worlds that Kay says can be “Dirty, very dirty.”

But the program equips future artists and executives with the tools to maneuver through the pitfalls with integrity, Kay says.

“They really make you understand how difficult it can be, but they give you the tools to face that,” she says. “They really give you the tools to go out into that world and not be beaten down.”

Kay plans to manage artists who don’t necessarily wear their faith on their sleeves or album jacket covers.

Citing artists such as Over the Rhine, The Fray and Augustana, all of whom bring a subtle Christian influence to their music, she plans to work with artists who have integrity yet might not fit neatly into the contemporary Christian box.

And Jenny McIntyre fits the bill perfectly, she says.

“I listen to Jenny’s album, to everything she brings to the world lyrically, and I am impacted by the words that she writes,” Kay says. “They may not be openly Christian, but the words and the lyrics that she produces out of her heart and out of her head are full of passion and full of hope.”

Passion and hope seem to be the guiding lights for Kay’s post-graduate plans. Yet she understands that many students are clueless about their futures, about their callings.

One of the biggest reasons for the lack of direction, she says, is that many students look myopically at the Eastern course catalogue and think their lives have to fit neatly into a major.

“Don’t limit yourself to what’s at Eastern,” she advises. “Don’t be stifled [and] don’t stifle yourself.”

Kay’s company can be found online at: www.myspace.com/likegiantsmgt

See Jenny McIntyre at: www.myspace.com/jennymcintyre

The Contemporary Music Center: cmc.bestsemester.com/overview.asp

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