As a long-time listener to the radio station Wired 96.5, I was eager to accept the internship that was offered to me in December 2012. I was excited to learn that the familiar voice of the mid-day host, Casey, would now be my boss. During the past two months of my internship, I have worked side by side with Casey in the studio and have gotten to know her very well. I find it inspiring how there is not a day that Casey does not come into work at her absolute best. As a radio host, it is imperative that she has her game face on every minute of the day, ready to interact with listeners as well as open up her personal life to them. The more I got to know Casey, the more questions I had for her. I wanted to learn what it takes to get into radio and how to be a successful woman in the business world. I stayed after work one day and had the opportunity to interview Casey. The interview turned into a good conversation and left me with valuable insight that I will take with me as I begin to embark down a career path.
Casey attended Temple University where she majored in Broadcasting. Her radio career began during her sophomore year of college when she interned with Q102. A year later she was hired at Wired 96.5 in the promotions department and quickly moved to the air when she was hired as the co-host for the morning show. She remained on the morning show for about a year and was then given the mid-day host spot, which she has been doing for the past six years.
I asked Casey what she considers her major achievements within her career. Aside from the awards she has won, Casey uses her position to benefit the gay community. Casey is the only radio host in Philadelphia that is out on-air. “I try to benefit the community by participating in local equality events and bringing attention to the gay community as well as promoting it through social media.” Casey was also given the opportunity to meet LGBT rights activist and celebrity, Lady GaGa. But Casey isn’t one to get starstruck. “I’ve gotten to meet a lot of celebrities through this job but I don’t take it as I’m meeting this big star…it’s more work. There are a handful of people I’ve met that I was in awe of and was excited to meet, and there are a lot of perks to this industry, but in general I think of it as my job.”
As I mentioned before, the one thing I admire most about Casey is how prepared she comes to work. I know from my own experience that it is often times difficult to leave personal issues at home when entering the office, but I have seen Casey go from taking a stressful phone call during a break to back in “radio mode” in a matter of seconds. Of course, she has had minor setbacks that have taught her how to switch gears. “When I was younger and was just starting out, I didn’t take [my job] as seriously. One time I partied the night before I was supposed to be on air and slept through my shift. My boss suspended me. I realized after that that this is my career I was putting in jeopardy, so early on I got a nice kick in the ass and realized this was a great opportunity and don’t mess it up.” It is evident in her work now that she does not let anything prevent her from being at her best during her show. If there is one thing Casey has taught me it is to never let anything personal get in the way of my career. Consistency is the key to success, and a person must be consistent in producing good work.
With graduation day looming, I asked Casey if she has any advice for me, and other recent grads, as I begin to search for a job. The two important pieces of advice she gave me were to first, focus on networking and second, to set goals for myself. “My biggest piece of advice is to network. E-mail people, meet people when you’re out at night, grab coffee with people in the industry you want to be in, and always follow through with them. Plant seeds because when these people have a job opening, they’re going to call you. There just aren’t enough jobs out there and you have to do a lot of legwork to get ahead. If you want to be in a company three years from now, you need to start hanging out with that CEO today. It’s all about who you know.” I have heard this kind of advice from so many different people, but it seems a lot more real coming from her. She is your average person who knows the value of hard work, but with the economy that way it is and almost every cooperation downsizing, she stressed the importance of networking being one of the only ways to get ahead in today’s world. As someone who has moved up quickly in her industry and then reached a plateau, she says it is difficult to be a woman in any kind of industry. She has been denied promotions to less-qualified men countless times and she says, “Wherever you go in life, set a realistic goal, and if you don’t get there after a while…get out. Be careful of the glass ceiling where ever you are. If you know you want to get somewhere else, don’t be afraid to leave and pursue something better.”
My hour-long interview with Casey taught me more then I have learned from most of my teachers and gave me more valuable lessons then I have learned in the classroom. My suggestion to all other interns: take time out of your personal day and actually talk to your boss. They are probably a lot more interesting then you think they are, and they will offer you advice that will benefit you for the rest of your life.