What to study or do over the summer for a DJ-tech radio person?
What do you suggest a high-school student do over the summer to increase their chances for being selected out of a large pool of other applicants for a job as a radio board runner for a morning show? #broadcast-media #radio #radio-broadcasting #radio-host
I've worked at multiple (over 15) radio stations over my career so I hope the following helps.
Contact the radio station and try to reach the most senior person. Usually the general manager. If you can't talk with him or her leave you name and contact information. This establishes your interest. You may get referred to the program director or assistant program director. If you talk with them or have to leave a message, have a quick (less than 30 seconds) introduction which includes why you would be the best choice for a job at the station.
When a radio station (or any company) is hiring, they are looking to solve a problem. Are you the person who is going to solve that problem (work hard, work cheap, work odd hours, go above and beyond)? If so, you have an excellent chance.
As you have probably figured out, there is no magic. It's hard to get that first job. Keep at it. Don't be a pest to the station if the initial response is no, but do let them know you are the person they should hire.
Find your locate radio stations. See if they are hiring, see if they have an internship, or see if they will let you help in whatever way possible. Or, find college radio stations you can ask the same questions to gain real world experience.
Specs Howard School of Media arts in Southfield Michigan offers certificates in the exact skills you want. There is also Full Sail in FL. Guy in my church is going to a small school in Nashville that specializes in recording arts. He said they use their students to do sound for touring major musical acts.
Thanks for inquiring. It's great to see the "want-to" from a high schooler already. There are a number of low-cost ways you can practice for that kind of thing. You could create your own web show. Spend a few bucks for a basic microphone and audio interface. A relatively inexpensive one is the TASCAM US-MK II. It will plug into a USB port with a simple 1394-to-USB connection.
Then you can download a free audio recording program like Audacity and create your own music program, DJ'd by you. If you have mp3 files of your music, you can lead into songs, tag out of songs, read your own news, do celebrity news, etc just like DJs do.
If you have Skype on your computer, you can download the free Call Recorder add-on for Skype (made by 3rd party ECamm) and do phoner interviews for your show as well. There is no limit to what you can do, and for very little money investment.
Then, you can sign up for free at SoundCloud, Stitcher, Audioboom, etc for a "channel," and you can send out links to your webcast on social media.
If you do it consistently (1x/week, 2x/week, whatever), you'll a) get better b) develop a small, but regular, following. Even if no one listens, when you go to a place at which you want to intern and tell them you did something like this, what do you think an employer would say? :)
Good luck with following that dream.