The mentorship program run by WSOU, Seton Hall’s radio station, connects students with station alumni so that they may gain helpful advice for their future careers. Since the program began in September 2016, it has proven that guidance can come from a number of sources, from hands-on training to an unlikely mentor.
Richard Fields, a DJ at WSOU and a senior liberal studies major, explained that while he has learned a great deal during his time at the station, he also sees the time he spent with his mentor as a valuable experience.
“I was a part of the mentoring program and it was really interesting,” he said. “Even though my mentor was a lawyer and I want to go into radio, we were still able to share our WSOU stories and I learned a lot.”
However, according to General Manager of WSOU Mark Maben, the station has been an advocate for integrative involvement since its founding in 1948.
“Pre-professional development has always been part of WSOU’s mission,” he said. “Faculty, staff and alumni guidance of student staff members has been ongoing for nearly 70 years.”
This mentoring program matches a student at WSOU with a WSOU Seton Hall alum, who held a similar position during their time at the station. Whether a student is a station manager, assistant manager, or a staff member, every position receives mentoring for a year.
“[Mentors] know what it is like to be, for example, a student manager while also balancing academics, a part-time job and life,” Maben said. “It is that shared experience that has helped our program be effective right from the start.”
“I had a very motivated mentor, Dan Rodriguez,” said Alicia Campos, this year’s station manager, who is a junior sound and visual media major. “Hearing about his professional experience encouraged me to go after media. Along with that, I ran my entire application for station manager past him. He judged my application like he would of a professional hire, and getting that experience was rewarding.”
This program is available to any student who is involved at the station. Freshmen are encouraged to participate as long as they are a WSOU staff member.
The station will offer a summer class for freshmen and transfer students in July. This opportunity will allow students to kick-start their experience at WSOU as they prepare for the fall. According to Maben, students who take the class often find success at the station.
Kiah Conway can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org