Well, hello there!
It’s been quite some time since I got the chance to sit down and write/chat about things, and a lot has changed since I last did this.
One of those things being a life long goal of mine to present radio. Yes, you read that correctly and I thought it was time for me to explain just how it came about.
I can’t exactly pinpoint where my passion for radio came from, but I do always remember some form of radio playing in the background, whether it was the local station ringing out through my family’s kitchen, pop radio on the way to school or current affairs on the way home, it was always there.
During my teenage years, podcasts as we know them today really started to emerge and I was hooked, listening to a mix of weekly podcasts I had subscribed to and traditional music radio. But it was a work placement opportunity I had in school that led me to think “I could do that, I could work in radio” .. I don’t know if it was passion, or delusion but I went for it and I loved every minute of it.
That’s where my first foray into radio broadcasting began and ended, for a while at least. Life got in the way – like it so often does – but I always had a return to radio on my mind. With a worldwide pandemic shutting most doors, and studios closed to those who didn’t already work there, it proved difficult. That was until I came across a broadcasting course with Learning Waves and Skillnet Ireland.
After a successful Zoom interview with the course co-ordinators, I was in, and from September to December 2021, I took weekly online lectures and webinars alongside a class of fellow Broadcast Bootcamp students.
Taking this course was such a turning point for me, I didn’t know what to expect at first – this was only the second year it ran online due to Covid restrictions – but I was excited to learn.
For close to four months, I learned more about radio program scheduling, audio editing, presenting techniques and media law than I had ever known before. As a class, we participated in assignments that were as close to real life industry tasks as possible. I remember one of the very first assignments was to put together scheduling for a radio station, and I mean morning to night and checking everything from the timing of news segments and shows to a T. It was a real ‘in the deep end’ moment and such a learning curve. I appreciated the fact the course gave us a ‘real life’ experience into the industry.
One of the stand out moments for me was getting the chance to learn from some prominent names in radio, and because each module was taught through Zoom, we all had the chance to ask them a question or just chat about radio when we wanted.
I also loved getting to grips with audio editing, and the software we used is actually a version of the one I use to record and do some light editing in my current radio position.
By the end of the course we all gained the skills and knowledge to complete our final project, which involved preparing for and sourcing interviews for a final piece that would air live on one of Ireland’s national online stations. That was certainly a ‘pinch me’ moment for me.
Not to mention, meeting new people and gaining friends in my fellow classmates. A lot of whom I still talk to, and each one being particularly supportive of each other’s careers. When I see posts online of any of them being involved in radio, TV or podcasting, I feel so proud!
This course taught me so much about radio and the media industry. Because of what I have learned, I wasn’t afraid to approach my local station for a work placement opportunity, once again.
Since February of this year, I have now been involved in local radio and it’s been great to have “a hands on approach”. You learn on the job, and the only way to get better is with practice so I’ve been enjoying building up my live air time alongside presenting a regular pre-recorded slot.
I’ll talk more about my involvement in radio soon, but I know for a fact that the tips and techniques I learned throughout the course gave me a new found confidence in my skills and because of this, I haven’t been afraid to jump into any aspect of radio that has been put before me.
If you told me this time last year that I’d be living out a dream of presenting live radio, I wouldn’t have believed it. It’s funny how things can change.