For anyone interested in a challenge, this program is for you. I was not sure what it would be like to be surrounded by a professional journalist for a week, immersed in an environment centered around radio. But it was amazing.
I have always loved podcasts and radio, but being able to actually spend a week producing a piece was something I had limited experience with while in school. As a student supporting myself through college, I had to forgo many internship opportunities that were not financially feasible. This opportunity gave me an internship type experience that was more accessible than other opportunities.
Having a mentor in the field was amazing and being able to pick the brain of illustrators, news directors, web designers and photographers throughout the week is something I will never forget.
The challenge of finding a source is something that many journalists go through in their professional careers. It challenged me to be more persistent and resourceful than I have ever been while writing a story.
The most impressive thing about this program is the network it creates. And I can tell that this will be an experience that sticks with me because of the way that alumni talk about it when they leave.
It was difficult. I won’t lie. I had a lot of long nights and I will definitely take away a better focus on time management in the future. But I can say a challenge like this is a trial by fire and it felt like a program that could either confirm my abilities or steer me in a new direction.
I am happy to say it has confirmed my love of radio. I have also met friends I will keep for the rest of my life and made connections with professionals that will become invaluable to me in the future.
A word of advice to future Next Gen Radio participants: always plug your computer into an outlet. Especially after completing an entire edit of a radio piece. Do not repeat my mistake! It will cost you precious hours of sleep.
All in all, I will spread the word about this program to other radio journalists I meet. This is how the program grows. And the impact that Next Gen Radio is having on the journalism industry cannot be denied. I am proud to have taken part in a program like this and I look forward to taking my newfound skills into my future career.