Raj Mukerjee, CISA
Hi Jose! Careers in radio can be fun, long-lasting, AND lucrative! A great way to get your foot in the door is to see if any local radio stations are hiring for what's commonly known as "promotions", which is a job that usually includes supporting radio staff - it can include things like driving, setting up equipment for remote broadcasts, and community engagement. It can be hard work, and depending on the station there may be lots of turnover - but stick with it and it could lead to a very exciting career in radio.
It also can't hurt to learn as much as you can about business, marketing, sales, radio broadcasting, engineering, and on-air etiquette. It may sound like a tall order, but every bit of knowledge you can leverage in that field will help you stand out.
Being an intern can have many benefits, and some fields actually require an internship. With that being said, an internship can typically be obtained by contacting the company and requesting to speak with someone in their hiring department. Internships often require an interview, even though they may be unpaid. By speaking with a hiring manager, and letting them know you are inquiring about internship opportunities, they can let you know if this is something they offer, as well as what their requirements are. Internships may be limited to a certain time, and may only be a few hours a week. These can be extremely helpful on resumes, as well as a great networking opportunity. Good luck to you on pursuing a new carrer choice!
What job would you like at a radio station? Behind the scenes or on air? Music or talk radio? If you want to work at a radio station because you love music, just keep in mind that the primary goal of radio is ADVERTISING. Everything else comes second to selling something. The most critical jobs in radio are sales managers to bring in revenue, and engineers to get the station back on the air anytime something happens.
Before I switched in mid-life to social work, my first career was in radio. I loved it so much I would have done it for free, and nearly did because the pay was paltry. Then the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was passed, and it was all downhill from there. Buyouts, layoffs, consultants got rich, talent started voicetracking for multiple markets with no additional pay for additional work...the radio I loved was not the radio anymore. Old media is unsustainable with little growth potential. I was lucky. I left radio on my own terms and with no lingering what-ifs.
If you want to work in radio behind the scenes, the best way in would be your school station (if you have one). Start there and learn how to do EVERYTHING: production, and equipment maintenance especially. If your school doesn't have a station, go to the smallest radio station in your area and learn how to do everything they'll let you do. The more you know how to do in that setting, they more valuable you'll be down the line. Many people only know how to do one thing. If you can produce commercials AND fix the control board...you're probably the most important person in the place.
Bonnie recommends the following next steps: