In the past week I have offered part-time work to interns. They both declined the offer choosing instead to pursue opportunities that are more aligned with their career goals. I wondered aloud on twitter if this is the new reality for radio and it seemed to strike a nerve.
@Giffordtweet they’ve interned. Know everything. Those jobs are so beneath them. How dare you insult them like that.
— Tim Fisher (@TimFisherOnAir) May 17, 2016
@Giffordtweet The entitled generation. Everyone thinks they are above certain positions when they should really be thankful they are wanted.
— Scott Troudt (@VeryScott) May 16, 2016
Some people view that as “a foot in the door”.. https://t.co/y4HlTRCRrB
— Andrew Dawson (@DawsonNewsNet) May 16, 2016
— OnAir Coach (@onaircoach) May 16, 2016
@Giffordtweet might be their reality but they will wake up to REALITY soon. It’s a ladder, keep stepping up
— John Kincade (@JohnKincade) May 16, 2016
Perhaps they haven’t heard of “gaining valuable experience?” https://t.co/uuD9KCxijF
— Simi Sara (@simisara980) May 16, 2016
Some offered to take the jobs on their behalf including a couple peers from their school and one woman who has no broadcast training at all.
I am not pointing fingers at all millennials suggesting this is a generation of slackers. I know that’s not the case, because many of the millennials I’ve had the pleasure to work with are dogged, creative, hard-working and very talented. I am suggesting some inexperienced broadcasters are undervaluing actual experience. Perhaps it’s a false confidence created by the internet where anyone can become a broadcaster through their personal computer. Why work odd hours or off-air “button pushing” jobs to climb the ladder when I can create “radio” in my dorm room?
I am suggesting some broadcast students aren’t considering the power of relationships and networking. Every job I’ve been offered started with an introduction from a friend or colleague. I have never been hired by someone who I wasn’t within three degrees of separation. I have blanketed North American with resumes though my career and not one resume I sent to a total stranger lead to anything more than a “thank you for applying.”
New broadcasters may also be dismissing the value of gaining experience on a live broadcast where there are standards, expectations, and big dollars on the line. Talking into a microphone and recording a podcast is one thing, having the responsibility to deliver news or traffic information or be responsible for airing thousands of dollars’ worth of commercials is another.
I appreciate candor, bold decisions and determination. The interns that rejected my overture for part time work have that. I wish them well. I will only offer this. As a broadcast student I reluctantly interned in the news department of a radio station. I had no interest in news. It wasn’t what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a host. But, I was good at news, discovered I loved it, and it lead to my first real radio job and a career I am proud of. You never know where opportunities, connections and experience will take you.
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