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At the University of Northwestern–St. Paul, many students take workshops as part of their coursework. In these workshops, students focus on putting skills they may use in a future career into practice. The radio workshop offers one such opportunity. 

This semester, Rylie Karges, a senior media production major with a focus in radio and recording arts, was part of this workshop, along with approximately 15 other students. Professor Mark Seignious advised this workshop. 

Karges said the radio workshop provides students with an opportunity to practice production skills and on-air performance in a learning environment. Students put their skills to the test by working on Northwestern’s student radio station, the MEL. Here, radio workshop students release their content, which is generally “new and diverse music,” Karges said.

Karges chose this workshop because she is required to take a certain number of workshop credits  as a media production major. The radio workshop fit since her focus is radio and recording arts. She answered a couple questions about her experience taking this workshop. 

Question: What has been the most useful skill you have picked up? 

Answer: I have learned so much by shadowing other people’s radio shows and seeing what they do differently than I do. I have learned how to write and produce a concise and interesting radio break.

Question: What has been exciting about working on the station? 

Answer: The radio station went through a name change this spring. This was a really exciting opportunity for us to change things up and create some new and exciting content for the station.

Question: What has been the most challenging aspect of your station?

Answer: There are always technical issues when you put college-aged students in charge of a radio station. Thankfully, we have a great tech person and professors to help us resolve issues.

Question: What has working in a specific type of radio taught you? 

Answer: I have learned about many different kinds of radio in the classes I have taken at Northwestern. Working on a music station specifically has taught me a lot about the technology that it takes to organize and schedule music … that plays on the radio.

Question: Do you get to collaborate with others in the workshop? If so, how? 

Answer: Yes! I am on executive staff, so I get to work together with the other executive staff members on the logistical aspects of the station. Workshop members are able to work together and do on-air shows as a team.

Question: Are there areas you have improved in through this workshop? If so, what and how? 

Answer: Being in workshop has opened so many opportunities for me. I have learned so much about the technical aspects of radio as well as how to write and perform on-air breaks.

Northwestern’s workshops provide students with the opportunity to explore and practice potential careers. In the future, Karges hopes to work at a radio station, whether that is “on-air, making productions or doing administrative work.” She said, “Radio is a really cool job market, and I want to be involved.”