I’ve always been a fan of combining things I love. Radio and drum corps? Let’s do an audio documentary on the summer. Audio and performance? Of course my dream job is working behind-the-scenes for a variety show that’s distributed over the airwaves. Travel and music? The class I took in the Fall of 2014 that covered an International music festival in Iceland was one of the highlights of my college career. Bananas and peanut butter? Sometimes I like to feel like a “Hound Dog” and have one of The King’s sandwiches.

Naturally, I decided to do a double-major in Radio and Media Management at Columbia. Now that I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in each of these departments and degrees, I’ve found so many overlapping correlations. To me, it only makes sense to combine the two into this Interdisciplinary Major.

When I started at Columbia, I was a Radio major and a Journalism minor. I thought this would be the best way to go, since ultimately, my goal is to be involved in public radio for the rest of my life. What I love about public radio is that you can’t have passive listeners — they have to be involved in order for the station to continue existence, since public radio is primarily funded through membership and business supporters. Having this heavy listener involvement is how I got into radio, and that’s probably why it’s so incredibly important to me.

Almost immediately in the Fall of 2013, my first semester here, I joined the team of staff for the Great Northern Radio Show, a variety radio program based in Northern Minnesota. I served for two years as the Associate Producer (and briefly, Stage Manager), for the team; stepping down this past September to finish out school and go for more internship opportunities to continue learning from different people before really starting my career.

Because of the experience with the Great Northern Radio Show, I found how much I enjoy doing the behind-the-scenes things. Script approval, figuring out the timing of the show and strategically placing acts to make everything run smoothly, working with the musicians to book time in a “studio” at Columbia (although it only worked out with two of the musicians, it was still a blast and definitely a wonderful learning experience), researching grants and how other variety shows managed to make it work financially, and dipping my toes in some social media marketing, (which is something I do on a regular basis now with most of my other jobs).

I’ve known that I love radio since middle school, but my passion for business/media management is still a little new. Filling the mold of interdisciplinary with these two will open the door to add more courses and opportunities into my remaining year at Columbia to seal the deal of the bond — including internship opportunities, more independent projects (whether they’re observed by the school through credits, or they simply make it into my portfolio), and the credit space to explore some of my other passions. Maybe I’ll finally get to take one of those yoga classes all of my friends rave about, or get a little web design class in there to improve my blog, heck, maybe just another writing class since that’s such an integral key to success.

Ultimately, the motivation for this proposal goes back to my desire to combine the things I love. Running and drum corps? Make a drum corps running club. Strawberries and bananas? Luckily that’s a popular smoothie. Ireland and telling audio stories? I’m in the final stages of production for my audio story on running in Dublin. Radio and Media Management? Interdisciplinary major.


Author: erikabunk

Raised in Northern Minnesota. BA in Radio/Business & Entrepreneurship. Painfully average marathoner. 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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