When I learned I was accepted into the Next Generation Radio program, I let out a tiny scream at work and proceeded to excitedly tell all of my coworkers. A wave of anxiety soon washed over me at the realization that I had no experience with audio editing; I was miles away from my comfort zone.

However, if this week has taught me anything, it is that getting out of your comfort zone is necessary to succeed. I was frustrated, I was stressed, I was anxious — but that was all overshadowed by how excited I was to deliver my final product. Throughout this week, a real sense of community shone through, especially with my fellow mentees. There was not a minute where I felt uncomfortable talking to my mentor, the audio techs, the photographers, the artists and the editors. (Yes, they are intimidating but kind.)

Since my previous experience was mostly with print and video, I was nervous to work exclusively with audio. I had worked as a radio panelist — but there’s a stark contrast between that and crafting an unscripted audio piece. Cutting a 30-minute interview down to four minutes is a behemoth task, and I am proud that I was able to complete it while keeping the essence of the story.

My interview with Violeta Rivera was conducted in Spanish, meaning I had to translate it in order to craft the story with my mentor and audio engineers. But the language difference never felt like a barrier, which surprised me, as editing audio is difficult enough, much less editing in a language you don’t understand. It drove home to me how fortunate I was to work alongside professionals in the field.

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