Student’s lifestyle of concerts, events aims at career

Story posted June 28, 2013 in News by Jackie Laster

            The build of an electronic beat in a DJ’s set list at Levels Nightclub causes thousands to jump on a crowded dance floor, but for Mikal Daskivich this beat is the force pushing him toward a successful career.

            For many, music is something to enjoy and acts as a small escape from the overwhelming world that surrounds them. For Daskivich it’s a way of life, a “calling” of some sort. Daskivich has embraced a life-style centered around an endless schedule of concerts and events. There are few things more diverse than the music on Daskivich’s I-Pod, and the space on the device is quickly diminishing.

            “It has become such a large part of my life at this point. My college experience pretty much revolves around music,” said Daskivich, about 6 foot 2 inches in height with dark brown hair and crystal green eyes,

            Mikal Daskivich is a Penn State sophomore from Mars, Pennsylvania, a small suburb of Pittsburgh. Daskivich breezed through Mars Area high school as a well-rounded, hard working student, athlete and not surprisingly, a musician.

            Daskivich’s roommate and longtime friend Cameron Ozarski, a sophomore finance major said, “He was in band for awhile. He’s always had a passion for every type of music, except country. He definitely hates country.”

            Daskivich started to become heavily involved in clubs in high school and this trait continued on into his college career.

            Carly Clark, a sophomore nutrition major, attended Mars Area high school and said, “Mikal was always involved, he was a Spanish club officer, did track and baseball, worked at Dairy Queen and still managed to take hard classes.” Daskivich ultimately graduated in the top five of his class.

            After his acceptance to Penn State he declared himself as an actuarial science major. However, after a brutal battle with his calculus course he decided to switch to a major that is unknown to many: recreation park and tourism management (RPTM).

            Daskivich walks across the living room of his apartment and sits down on the dark burgundy couch that rests against a wall displaying Penn State football paraphernalia. The apartment is spotless, which may be seen as rare for a place where four college men reside. 

            Sunlight pours through the windows and illuminates signed posters of famous artists, collected by Daskivich after various concerts put on at Penn State. Daskivich is wearing distressed blue jeans and a colorful green shirt that reads, “Drop beats not bombs,” which brings out the bright green color of his eyes.

            He leans back slightly and touches his brown hair, showing off 5 brightly colored, rubber bracelets on his right wrist, which he received from various concerts.

            “Last year after I talked to one of my friends that was an RPTM major I knew I needed to switch majors. I never realized that it was option.” Daskivich dreams to become the manager of a concert hall in a large city.

            “He’s always listening to something, whether it’s walking to class with his headphones or doing his homework. Sometimes I wonder how he focuses when he’s studying and there’s techno blasting,” said Erin O’Hagan, a speech pathology major and friend of Daskivich.

            The music groups on campus include Penn State’s Student Programming Association (SPA), State in the Real, Movin’ On, and the Electric Dance music club, and Daskivich belongs to each one and holds vital positions.

             Kara O’Donnell, a public relations major and friend of Daskivich said, “I’ve probably never met someone as passionate about something as Mikal is for music. He knows popular songs weeks before everyone else realizes they exist.”

            Daskivich’s weekends are filled with concerts from artists of all genres, most of what’s known as electric dance music (EDM). He attends the shows put on by SPA, and all of the concerts that take place at Levels Nightclub in town.

            “I have a separate bank account just for concerts,” Daskivich said. Glancing at his open closet, neon t-shirts occupy the hangers and flyers of different DJ’s are plastered on the ceiling above his bed.

            Before attending class Daskivich strolls into his living room at 10 a.m., still sluggish, with his laptop in hand. He opens the laptop and clicks on his “favorited” websites, which are all sources for the newest music. After scouring the Internet for free downloads he checks through emails and Facebook groups, filled with information about upcoming events and meetings.

            After searching through his music library he picks out a song and writes a quick blurb about it, which is one of his jobs as associate editor for State in the Real, a music website for Penn State students.

            Daskivich’s main source of involvement within the Penn state music sphere is in Penn State’s Student Programming Association (SPA). He recently received the title of Director of events, one of four major executive positions within the association.

            “I oversee all of the event based committees which include, entertainment, latenight, noontime, lectures, logistics, hospitality, and Movin’ On liaison, and provide guidance for them. I also facilitate all collaborations with outside organizations,” said Daskivich.

            So what’s a typical day for person whose life revolves around their passion? Daskivich has about eight meetings per week, as well as office hours and advisor meetings.

            “Monday at 4 p.m. I have events, and 4:30 p.m. is the admin meeting. Tuesday I have an entertainment meeting at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. is membership and 8 p.m. is noontime. Thursday at 10 a.m. I have an executive meeting, 6 p.m. is latenight and 7 p.m. is logistics,” Daskivich said, “It’s definitely the reason I’m so busy all the time.”

            On days of SPA events he spends all day preparing the venue, acts as security during the event, and stays late to ensure that the venue is clean. You can spot him easily in his kelly-green t-shirt with a white SPA logo.

             Lindsay Simon, advertising major and friend of Daskivich said, “Sometimes I barely realize how busy he is because he manages it so well. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him stressed.”

            Concerts are known to be Daskivich’s natural habitat. “You should see how fast he walks when he’s going to a concert, he might as well just run because he’s so excited,” said Ozarski.

            Students in neon clothing jump to the pulsating sound of the electronic music as the glow from the beaming strobe lights shines down on them. To Daskivich this is a typical weekend, his passion, and a home away from home.