Last week, four WSOU staff members traveled to Austin, Texas, where they got the opportunity to meet, connect with and learn from experienced professionals after being selected as National Association Broadcasters (NAB) Student Scholars.
For any aspiring broadcaster or radio show member, this opportunity does not disappoint, according to students. The recipients of the scholarship were given the opportunity to attend the 2017 NAB Radio Show, an event specifically designed for students aspiring to obtain a career in the radio industry.
“I was ecstatic when I found out,” recipient Erin Kelly, a junior Communications major, said. “This is the first conference I’ve attended for WSOU so being selected was an honor.”
Having four recipients be a part of the NAB Student Scholars Program is a record-breaking number for WSOU. Before this year, WSOU’s record for NAB Student Scholars was two students in 2016. In a press release highlighting the students’ accomplishments, WSOU General Manager Mark Maben shared his enthusiasm for the members of the station.
“That four WSOU staff members were selected by the NAB for their Student Scholars Program speaks to both the passion our students have for radio and the outstanding training and education they receive,” Maben said.
Students had the opportunity to network and and make connections with the advantage of the 28 radio groups and associate businesses that attended the event.
“I was attending panels and presentations with the people I hope to work for — it made me feel like I was already among them,” Alicia Campos, a junior and visual and sound media major, said.
Justine Strzepek, a sophomore public relations major, shared similar sentiments, highlighting what she learned while meeting with the professionals.
“One piece of advice really stuck with me,” she said. President and CEO Vince Bendetto from Bold Gold Media Group said, ‘You have to build your network before you can use it.’”
Along with meeting veterans of the field, the scholars had the opportunity to meet with students from other colleges, bonding over radio, and learning from each other’s programs.
Angelo Maltese, a senior and broadcast visual media major, remembered this as being a major part of the atmosphere at the radio show. “There was a certain buzz at all times,” he said. “Other students were extremely welcoming and open to sharing their own experiences in student radio.”
With so many esteemed groups like CBS Radio and iHeart Media, a student could feel nervous meeting the representatives. However, Camps shared how the event created an environment where it was easy to step out of one’s comfort zone.
“I’ve learned that the heads of the industry are not all that intimidating,” she said. “I’ve gained a lot of trust in myself now that I feel I can approach anyone and share my passion with them.”
Megan Beauchamp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.