How I Learned Not to Give Up on My Dreams – Part 1
I moved from afternoons to mid-days on TRI-102.5 about a week ago; and I already know it’s the best thing that could have happened to my career. It’s times like this when I stop and think about how fortunate I am, and also how glad I am that I didn’t screw up my chance to live my dream.
I’m sure you know I’ve always wanted to be a radio DJ. Well, technically, I decided this was my path in 8th grade, at around age 13 or so. I came to CSU specifically because they have an award-winning radio station, and I earned a journalism degree because I knew those skills would make me look good to any broadcasting industry, including radio.
I became an intern with (what would later become) Townsquare Media back in October 2006, when I was a junior at CSU. I had sent a recording of my college radio show to some guy named Paul Wozniak who worked at one of the radio stations, and he had decided to take me under his wing and teach me the basics of professional radio. I came in once a week at 8 AM to learn all I could from Paul during his morning show. Rest assured, I learned a lot.
By May 2007, I was desperate to find a job in Fort Collins so I could continue living here over the Summer, rather than returning to my parent’s house down in Aurora. Luckily, Paul put me in touch with the stations’ promotions staff, who were quick to hire me as a part-timer. It was my job to set up and tear down live events all over northern Colorado.
I wasn’t on the air, but I was on the payroll. Plus, I got to spend a ton of time with the full-time DJ’s, and that was a great place to be.
In January 2008, I was in the studio recording some fake radio breaks, just for practice. I was hoping to get some constructive feedback from Paul, or any of the other DJ’s. I got way more than that.
On this particular day, our operations manager decided to sneak up on me while I was recording, and listen to some of my breaks. I nearly had a heart attack when I noticed him behind me.
And I nearly had another one when he offered to put me on the air.
That’s right. In the blink of an eye, I had become a radio DJ. It was part-time, and only on weekends, but I was finally on the air. And I hadn’t even graduated college yet!
Unfortunately, though, that “top of the world” feeling didn’t last forever…