What Have You Been Doing This Summer? Part 2: The Intern

Probably one of the most important parts of my summer has been my internship with Northern Community Radio. We liked to joke around that I was just “the intern,” but my official title was Production Assistant. I basically helped out with anything I could around the station, with a heavy emphasis in production and music.

It’s kind of weird how it worked out – I worked on the 2,000 membership campaign for the first few weeks, then it turned into other things I could do around the station. I worked on the 10th Annual KAXE Mississippi River Festival, I helped train in a bunch of hopeful on-air volunteers, I hosted a handful of specialty shows and other live music shows, and I learned about hosting news breaks and working with a ‘hot clock.’

Not only that, but I was so thankful to work with a bunch of people I essentially grew up with. I’ve been involved at Northern Community Radio since I can remember, and I can’t imagine a life where I’m not doing things for them or listening or supporting them.

Probably the most valuable part of the internship was I started to peel back my own layers as to what I want to do once I finish school. I learned that I can’t look at a computer for eight hours a day, seven days a week, and spend my life doing post-production. I also learned that I don’t work well in an office environment – I’m a people person. I feel like I’m being productive when I’m interacting with others. I learned that if I am on my own, I do best when it’s something I’m passionate about.

I love radio. I love production, but that can’t be what I’m going to specialize in. I love programming music, I think it’s a blast to find out about new artists and learn trivia about them to tell others. I love helping other people find bands I enjoy, and getting them hooked on them. I also love being part of the Great Northern Radio Show; I love being able to do radio and to do the real human interaction thing, too.

Long story short, this summer, I’ve got two different directions I’d love to go in radio. If I became the music director for some public radio station somewhere, I could learn about so many new musicians before any one else. I’d have a say in who could get big and what kind of music the rest of the world gets exposed to. On the other hand, being the Associate Producer for the Great Northern Radio Show is one of the things I’ve done in the past year that I’m most proud of, and it’s one of my favorite ways to spend a weekend. If I could do things like that for the rest of my life, that would be an absolute dream come true. Plus, ideally, I’d get to travel. A lot. Which is just an added bonus to that. That’s another thing I learned this summer – I’m not happy if I’m in the same place for too long. I constantly need change. I need new things to talk about to new people all the time, which is probably a big reason why I have eighteen million different things going on in my life that I’m passionate about.

And because I don’t want to expose my entire self to the internet, that’s all you’re going to get for the professional learning curve for me this summer. More to come, of course, because my summer isn’t even quite over yet.

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Author: erikabunk

Raised in Northern Minnesota, Interdisciplinary major in Radio and Business & Entrepreneurship at Columbia College Chicago. Enjoys long runs on the lakefront path at dawn, public radio, and lefse covered in butter w/ cinnamon sugar. Spends too much time on Spotify, in search of the best record store in the world, and dreams of returning to Reykjavík.

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