I don’t want to talk about the economy or the value of a college degree. I want to talk about internships, the decline of the American work ethic and why some of us are working hard every day in the studio at KBXX doing a job we love and others are still talking about getting a job in radio one day.
I had several students approach me recently about interning at the station. I gave some of them my info and was surprised to find out that none of them were interested in an unpaid internship. For me that showed that they probably weren’t interested in a career in radio.
Don’t get me wrong. I can feel your pain. I know times are hard and many of you are stretching pennies just to be in school. The fact is, however, that there are, will and always be hard times. Those that really want to do something will find a way though.
Whether it’s for school credit or just general knowledge an internship is one of the most useful tools at one’s disposal. It can give you invaluable insight into what you need to reach your goals, provide connections that will last a lifetime and if you perform well that unpaid internship just may turn into a job offer following your graduation.
It’s called paying your dues. I did it. There were times when I started out in radio that I didn’t have a cent to my name, that I wore the same brown shirt for days and even slept in the station. The thing about hard work and sacrifice though is that it tends to pay off better complacency or laziness. In the end I got my job, and while not all of the unpaid interns working at the station today will enjoy a career in radio – for many it will serve as a ladder to equal or greater career goals.
So, here’s J Mac’s thought for the day: Whether you want to be on the radio or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, when the time comes find a place that you believe can impart the knowledge that you need to succeed for life – take an internship and instead of complaining about the lack of pay shut up and soak up all the knowledge you can so that the amount of time you won’t be able to charge for your services is limited.