As the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end. It’s time for me to leave the party…Philly’s “party station” that is. Over the last three months, I have interned at Wired 96.5 for Casey Reed, producer of the mid-day show. This has been the most rewarding experience of my life to date. I had no idea what I was actually signing myself up for when I accepted this internship, but the thought of working in a radio station seemed like a fun way to gain some experience as well as knocking out a few college credits along the way.
The daily grind at Wired varied. I spent a lot of time on Wired’s social media sites, interacting with listeners on the phone lines, being the first to know about any and every news story, using advanced audio programs to edit audio clips, voicing my opinions on air, and…even doing the “Harlem Shake”. Every day was an adventure and I learned major life lessons along the way.
First life lesson: Brand yourself.
Working with Casey Reed taught me the importance of being able to brand myself. As a public figure, she has to remain interesting to her listeners and she does this by utilizing social media sites. She has a strong presence on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Casey goes above and beyond by remaining active on her social media sites even when she is not working or on-air. She has successfully branded herself as the only mid-day radio host in Philadelphia to be “out” on air and she keeps her listeners up-to-date on news in the LGBT community. Her fans expect her to deliver and they look forward to hearing her opinions whether it is on Twitter, on-air, or at a promo event. Fun Fact: Casey isn’t her real name! It’s all part of the branding.
Second life lesson: Be prepared.
Just like with anything in life, being prepared in the workplace is essential to your performance. This lesson may have been more apparent to me because if I weren’t prepared, the public would know it. Being prepared in the radio industry means more than just getting adequate sleep and coming in every day ready to work. Being prepared in radio means to be prepared to do tasks you cannot actually prepare for. There were countless times when I would have to go on-air at the spur of the moment. This may sound easy, but if you had five seconds to come up with an opinion on transvestites in women’s wrestling, what would you say? The dreaded words, “quick grab your mic” soon became second nature to me. I learned how to think on my feet and to expect the unexpected. P.S. Be prepared to participate in a “Harlem Shake” video. Follow the link for your viewing pleasure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgbJX8R5LYY
Third life lesson: Go outside your comfort zone.
Casey and I are total opposites, which is probably why she is a radio personality…and I am not. Going on-air was a struggle for me in the beginning due to the fact that I am shy. It was a nerve-wracking experience knowing all of Wired’s employees would hear me on-air and I even received a few text messages from friends that had the pleasure of listening. However, I quickly overcame this. Speaking on the radio may not have been my favorite task, but I remained positive and kept a smile on my face. Pushing myself to do something I never thought I could do helped me grow as a person and makes me realize all those times my parents told me I could do anything I set my mind too was actually true.
Fourth life lesson (and most important): Love what you do and you will never work a day in your life.
The saying is cheesy, but I am amazed at how true it is. I had never experienced this feeling firsthand before this internship. I truly looked forward to going into work every day. I never dreaded the day ahead or wished I could stay in bed in the mornings. I loved the work I did, the people I worked with, and everything I was learning. Working hard on something I was interested in and passionate about was such a rewarding experience, and I am eager to find this feeling again in whatever job I take next.
As I wrap up my internship with Wired, (and throw in the towel on my radio career) I know that I am leaving there with so much more than I came with. I am amazed at the growth I had in such a short amount of time. I am no longer fearful of graduation and the giant question mark that follows it. Leaving behind my routine of class and trading it in for a career seemed terrifying to me before this internship, but now I am excited. I am looking forward to pushing myself even further out of my comfort zone to find a career that I love and that fulfills me.