As cliche as this sounds, joining NPR’s Next Generation Radio was life changing for me. The experiences, connections, and friends I’ve made from this program will be unforgettable.

I am a very anxious person, so when it comes to new experiences, I’m often unsure about myself. As soon as I stepped into the room at WHYY, I felt this relief over me. I felt like I’m meant to be here. I felt like I finally belonged. 

It was nice to finally be around other students who were just as determined and passionate as me. One thing I really appreciated was how supportive everyone was when students needed support. Mentors and mentees were willing to jump in and help. We were all one big team. The editors are very intimidating but in a good way, they get to the point and tell you what you need to hear and not what you want to hear. They are strict but that’s what keeps a news team on schedule.

Coming into this program, I thought I knew Adobe Audition pretty well, but I was wrong. I learned so much from the talented audio engineers. I can’t wait to teach the news department of Rowan Radio all their little tips and tricks, like how to mark audio when logging and rely more on the keyboard shortcuts to edit than a mouse. I learned keys like “j” rewinds it, “r” is the razor, and “,” selects all the clips after the cursor. The engineers also explained their editing process with me as they mixed my final audio story. During the final mix, the laptop crashed and deleted some of my previously saved work. I thought I was going to have a meltdown, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Luckily, I already had the framework of where the scene sounds and clips were going. It might have set me back 45 minutes, but I pushed through it and managed to get everything in on time.

Taking my experiences here I am definitely bringing everything to my college radio station. I manage a news department at Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS FM. As the News Director, I am going to manage my team with tougher deadlines. I’ve learned that while kindness is a nice attribute, it doesn’t always get things done. 

Pre-interviewing your interviewee was really helpful before starting this program. Not only will you be able to get a feel for your story before hand, but you’ll be able to organize and focus more. Also you can learn so much from your interviewee, really pay attention to what they’re saying and do research on what they’re saying. I learned a lot about DACA and immigration from Henrik’s story.

NPR’s Next Generation Radio is an amazing opportunity itself, but it creates other great opportunities. Out in the field, I got offered an internship right on the spot. Ask questions and get involved as much as you can. The process of the program felt like it was rushed, but in a good way. In a real news room everything’s going to be 100x more rushed and you have to be on top of your work.  

My mentor, Trenae Nuri, was another favorite part of this experience. She was amazing in every way, she taught me how to navigate the media industry and was very relatable. The connections and experiences I learned from her, I don’t think I’d be able to learn from someone else. She’s an inspiration and I will be forever grateful for the things I’ve learned from her and this program.

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