Since this is a radio internship, there aren’t any classes that helped me prepare for this internship directly; however, there were some classes that had certain aspects that assisted me in this internship thus far. The first class that assisted me was public speaking. All these years, I assumed that I didn’t learn from public speaking because I’m still pretty shy when it comes to speaking to crowds, but I have noticed that I’m able to enunciate much better than I used to. I’ve been inside a radio station before and have had the chance to speak on air before I got to college. While I enjoyed the thrill of talking on air, I couldn’t seem to overcome the shyness. Even though more than 3 years later I am still shy, I was told I sounded pretty good for how shy I claim to be.
The second class that has helped me during this internship is the advanced media writing course. One of the things I help out with for this internship is coming in with news stories (both local and national) that can be discussed on air. One of the biggest assignments we did in the advanced media writing course was the five week reporting assignment. With this, we were required to bring in a completed news story each week to be added to our portfolio. While for the internship, I’m not required to write out an entire story, the weekly reporting project helped me learn how to find news stories even when you don’t think there are any out there. With the skills learned from this assignment, I have been able to bring in multiple stories on a daily basis.
The last class that has helped me with this internship is the digital storytelling class. One of the most important aspects of segueing up the radio show is making sure that the songs are tightly edited. If there is any silence on the radio, audience members begin to assume something is wrong with the station and will switch channels, in turn making the station lose listeners. In digital storytelling, we were taught techniques to edit our documentaries to be tightly edited, and while this was primarily focused on video, one of the tricks the Dr. Stouffer taught us about was how to layer audio in a appealing way. We use this layering technique when transitioning between a song and a commercial so I strongly believe this is one of the reasons it didn’t take me long to learn about segueing the show.
Since last week, I have worked at the station a lot more than my first two weeks here, especially since I don’t have any more vacation days planned. After learning the basics of Audacity, I got to learn how to work with the program Audition. At the station, we use this program to load mixes into the system so that they can be queued up on the radio. They also taught me about the different types of commercials that they record for the radio. One last thing I learned this week was how to segue the show. This is the process where you arrange the tracks so there aren’t any silent breaks while the station is on air. You also have to make sure the music flows together and does not sound choppy, otherwise the station could lose listeners because the could potentially think something was wrong with their radio.
Since segueing the show is so important and was a new concept for me, I struggled trying to get the show to flow how I wanted to; however, like with the issues I had last week, it just took a little practice to get everything down. After working on it for one day, I can now say that I am confident enough to segue the entire show on my own. Another challenge that I am noticing is the impact this schedule is having on me. Because I work another job immediately before this one, I’m noticing how exhausted I am getting after arriving back home. While it would be nice to sleep more, I still very much enjoy the internship and will continue to push so I can get the most out of this experience.
After being here for a few weeks, I’m starting to see how much I love this part of the entertainment industry. There’s so much that goes into it and it just fascinates me how it all comes together to its final product. Before interning here, I never took the time to think about how much is put into creating a smooth radio show. I thought the music just played automatically and everything fell into place due to an algorithm or something of that nature, but now I see how much effort is actually put into the radio station and it’s made me appreciate working here even more.
So far, the last few weeks at my internship have been amazing. I’ve learned a lot about being a radio personality and it’s made me appreciate the radio side of the media much more than I used to (and I already had a strong appreciation for it to begin with). I’ve learned many new terminology that will come in handy in the field, as well as how to use programs like Audacity more in depth as the only knowledge of the program I had before was how to speed up music. I also learned how to use the queueing system to organize the songs that are going to play as well as how to record voice tracks into said system in order to create commercials and breaks.
One of the biggest challenges I faced in the beginning was learning the new system. I was lucky enough that they switched to the new system after I started there so I was able to learn it along with everyone else; however, since I didn’t have any knowledge of the previous system, I was essentially learning everything from scratch. After getting the chance to sit down with two of the team members and get an in depth tutorial of how the basics work in the system, I was able to basically catch up to speed and now I feel proud as some members come to me when they have questions about it. Now that I had the basic knowledge of the system, it made learning the new aspects way easier.
The experiences I’m getting from this internship not only helps me develop a better understanding of the radio industry, but it also allows me to create valuable connections that will be useful if I decide to pursue a track in the radio industry. On Tuesday this week, I got the chance to speak during every break from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and I noticed that as I did each break, I felt more confident than the last. Even if I still feel a little shy, seeing how much I improved in just a few hours was very reassuring. It makes me believe that I actually may have a chance in this industry.