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SOC Students Receive Virginia Association Broadcasters Internship
By Emily Lewis
Two School of Communication students, Daniel Willingham and Courtney Mendenhall were the recipients of Virginia Association of Broadcasters (VAB) summer 2016 internships.
Willingham a senior with a major in media studies with a concentration in video production held his internship at WVTF in Roanoke, Va. Willingham’s biggest project was producing a video at the end of the internship. Willingham said that his favorite part of his internship was just being around media.
Willingham stated that his biggest challenge was learning the process of news. “Since my concentration is in video production, I haven’t spent much time doing strict journalism. I was able to touch on it during my script writing class, so learning the processes of news was very challenging,” said Willingham.
He also stated that being able to work outside of student media helped him grow professionally. “At student media we try to be as professional as we can, but working at a station with people who have been in business for decades was enlightening,” he said.
Willingham’s workdays were Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Depending on the days, he would work with a different number of people but no matter the people the environment was always detail-driven.
Willingham’s internship was hands on and strengthened certain skills such as writing copy for a radio station and learning a new program that he was introduced to during his project of producing a video. He stated that he hopes more people start looking for these internships earlier than he did.
“It was awesome to be a part of something like this. It has helped me immeasurably in my field, and I can’t wait to do more of it,” Willingham stated.
While Willingham interned at WVTF, Mendenhall was interning at WAKG and WBTM in Danville, Va.
Mendenhall spent her time in many different locations such as the sales department, copy department, and the front desk. She worked with scheduling, audio production, and website management.
Some of her skills that improved were Photoshop and creative writing. She spent time creating ads to publish on the website and writing a lot for the station. Mendenhall stated that most of her work was hands on. “I got to work with their editing software and create music promos that went on air! I even got to be on air a few times too! Being at the live remote broadcasts was a lot of fun!”
One of Mendenhall’s most challenging part of the internship was learning about how the sales employees worked to earn the funds to keep the station on air. Mendenhall expressed that she did not have very much experience in this area but enjoyed learning how the sales department keeps the station alive.
Mendenhall stated that her biggest lesson learned was having to deal with situations that called for ‘tough skin’. “No matter how difficult someone is to deal with, you have to keep pushing on and not to let anyone keep you from getting your job done,” she said.
Mendenhall worked Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Most days she was working with 19 people. She stated that every one was kind, hardworking, and willing to help each other out. “We had cookouts and lunches at work too! They made me feel very comfortable to be there,” said Mendenhall.
The two seniors stated that they were satisfied with their choice to hold an internship through VAB and thank their professors at Radford University for preparing them.