School News

Two Michigan Ross BBAs Launch Michigan Music Business Club to Bridge the Gap Between Business, Culture, and Music

Jonathan Hayman, BBA ’22, and Cassie Alexe, BBA ’22, co-founded the Michigan Music Business Club at the Ross School of Business after finding few opportunities for students interested in the music industry.

“When attending the BBA club fair my first year at Michigan Ross, I noticed that there were few opportunities on campus to learn about the music business industry,” Alexe explained. “Jonathan and I wanted to form an organization that could educate its members and create a space for music industry-related conversations and connections to be made.”

In the summer of 2019, Hayman approached Alexe to start an organization that would create a community for students who are interested in the music space. As the music industry is one of the most rapidly accelerating industries in the world, the BBA duo recognized the current generation of college students are the next leaders of the business and music world. 

That includes Alexe and Hayman, who both aspire to go into the music tech industry after graduation, focusing on supporting music startups with venture capital. During his first year at the University of Michigan, Hayman founded an artist management company, The Group, from his residence hall that now is responsible for millions of streams across digital streaming platforms. 

“I think music tech has a lot of room to grow and these next 10 years are pivotal,” Alexe said. “We are entering a time where the music industry is becoming increasingly more social through technology and low barriers to entry for artists.”

About the Michigan Music Business Club

Hayman and Alexe said the MMBC’s mission is to foster student success to help them become those future music industry leaders. The organization provides members an exclusive and educational experience through opportunities to hear from speakers, meet socially, and receive internship recruiting support.

“MMBC hosts speaker events that feature industry leaders who range from label executives to A&R professionals, entertainment lawyers, marketing gurus, and general creatives within the industry,” said Hayman. 

Notable speakers that have participated in MMBC events are: Sean McMullan, director of Amazon Music; Ryan Fleming, former marketing director of Yeezy; Gary Gersh, president of Global Touring and Talent AEG Presents; and Joel Klaiman, president of Hitco Entertainment.

Alexe shared what her proudest moment was with MMBC so far. 

“My proudest moment was our first speaker event with Gary Gersh. I looked around the room and saw our members engaged in hearing Gersh’s stories of discovering Nirvana and putting together Coachella,” she explained. “It was a very special experience, and I am very proud to have been able to give that to other Ross students.” 

Alexe said MMBC puts an emphasis on attracting students from a variety of backgrounds, and members include music, business, engineering, and art and design students. 

As a club — with an underlying goal to educate our members on the business side of the industry — it is very valuable to have conversations and ideate among a group of people with diverse experiences and strengths. In some ways, we like to say that MMBC mirrors a music label, as we have member representation in all ‘sectors’ that a label needs to operate

Cassie Alexe, BBA ’22

Hayman and Alexe said they have used Michigan Ross resources in helping them plan speaker events and with opportunities that they pass on to their members.

“We utilize the Michigan alumni network constantly to reach out to industry professionals that could come speak to our organization,” said Alexe. “We also use the Michigan alumni network and Ross Career Development Office to source internship and recruitment opportunities to pass along to our members.”

Looking into the future, MMBC plans to host a music business conference that would feature several panels with some of the biggest names in music. The organization hopes to host live, in-person events (pandemic-permitting) to teach members about different aspects of the music industry, such as talent booking. They also plan to teach members about marketing by working with artists and creating their marketing campaign. 

Learn more about MMBC