Though I’m only half way through my placement year with Eagle Radio, I can already say with confidence that it’s the best decision I’ve made with regards to the progress of my career so far. The decision itself was made around April/May of my second year studying English Literature with Creative Writing at the University of Surrey. I knew by this point that I wanted a career in the radio industry specifically, and Eagle was the only station in the area and of its kind that offered a placement quite like this. Other stations across the country offer a week here, 4 weeks there; nothing long term, or with the benefits I receive by working here specifically. For me, it’s a one of a kind placement year that I wouldn’t replace.
The placement itself is unpaid, though it offers coverage of transport costs, which is a huge weight off my shoulders. As well as this, as soon as I started my initial pre-placement work over the busy summer period at the station, I was signed up for our promotional team: the Love Crew. Being a part of the Love Crew is great fun, and meant I could establish those essential initial connections with other members of staff. It means I can meet our listeners, and represent the company on the road. It also provides important extra paid work that means I can keep my head above water with bills and rent.
Since being with the station, I have gained endless experience and confidence in my abilities. The job title itself is a broad one: ‘Station Assistant’. I ‘assist’ with many tasks across Eagle, from my initial first steps editing and writing content for our website, to larger sound production tasks that have ended up on air. What I would say is important here is to realise that every task, be it large or small, contributes to the business. Though some days I may be focusing on our website, there will be other days that I take part in larger tasks. Most recently, I was able to put into practice the skills I gained through my voluntary work with GU2 Radio on campus. For the 2011/2012 academic year I was the Head of Events, which meant I already had the initial skill sets to help lead an event with Eagle. The station has its own charity, the Eagle Radio Trust, which provides money for causes and communities across our target audience in Surrey and Hampshire. A member of our staff here proposed that we host an event to raise money, called ‘Busk for the Trust’, the idea being that we put on an all-day event of professional busking to tie in with the Christmas lights switch-on in Guildford. I was entrusted as project manager, and worked alongside a regular freelancer at our station, who was the technical manager. The event was a huge success, and was a real test of everything I have learned so far on my placement. I had to deal with many problems and challenges on the day as a team leader/project manager, which resulted in the MD of Eagle giving me an award for leadership. I was very touched by this, and it affirmed to me that all my hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed here.
Looking ahead into 2013, I am looking to launch my own ‘DJ School’ with our Education team, as part of our Broadcasting for Schools programme. I am creating my own scheme of workshops, aimed at utilising the engaging experience of DJing and MCing as a new and practical way to learn. I will also be using the workshops as a team-building exercise alongside the team I work for here, which I’m very excited to get started with!
All in all, I have had a brilliant time here so far. Working with Eagle Radio is truly what you make of it – and if you put in the extra hours, and show a willingness to learn and adapt easily, you’ll reap the rewards.
If any students have any questions they want to ask me about getting into radio, feel free to tweet me: @FauxloUK.