My Campus Job Took Me to Texas
By: Mallory Glenn ’19
I walked into the Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Antonio, Texas and was greeted by sky high ceilings and sparkling glass elevators. A pool in the main lobby, flanked by lush greenery, extended outside onto the Riverwalk. Tyler Longstreth, Logan McGee, and I looked at each other, mouths agape. Fallon Schwab-Davis came up behind us and smiled.
“This is about to be an incredible weekend,” she said.
And she was right.
When I was at a Raider Student Media (RSM) meeting a few months prior, and heard our radio station manager say there was one remaining spot for a member to attend a convention in San Antonio, I immediately expressed my interest in the opportunity. I had never attended a conference, so I didn’t know what to expect or have too many expectations for the experience. However, I believe that the National Student Electronic Media Convention (NSEMC) would have surpassed even the highest expectations I could’ve had.
“It’s invaluable for students to attend national conferences such as NSEMC. It gives them the opportunity to showcase their hard work and skills, meet other students from across the country that are working in student media, and to make contacts that will help them network professionally,” said Lynn Riggle, WRMU Station Manager.
College Broadcasters, Inc. puts on NSEMC annually, and it’s held in different locations across the country. This year, it was held in San Antonio, Texas and happened in early November. Fellow college and university undergraduates, as well as professionals in communications and related fields, led the sessions.
My favorite part about NSEMC was the people. It was fun and inspiring to be surrounded by students, faculty, and professionals from around the country who are passionate about the same things you are. Thursday night, at the conclusion of the first day, there was a Swag Swap. In the lobby of the Hyatt Regency, all the delegates showcased and shared the promotional items from their station. It was interesting and helpful to see well-executed examples of ideas we could use to improve upon our own promotional items.
As the sessions progressed, I realized that a lot of the information I garnered from the sessions not only applied to becoming a better radio station employee, but to becoming a better undergraduate in general.
“Student Media Involvement: A Guide to Overachieving” and “Just Because You’re Doing More Doesn’t Mean You’re Getting Anything Done” were sessions led by students from different colleges and universities. The session leaders emphasized that it’s easy to get involved in lots of events and organizations on campus—it’s easy to be busy. But is what you’re doing moving you forward or simply keeping you moving? These sessions stressed the importance of narrowing down what you’re interested in to things that go with your career goals or major.
The “Great Public Relations: How to Do It” and “Breaking into the Radio Biz in 2017” sessions were also led by students. These session leaders emphasized the importance of taking initiative. Often, we want to do things, but we are too nervous to make mistakes or feel like we don’t have enough knowledge to accomplish them. These presenters encouraged everyone to decide what they want to accomplish, think of the steps they need to take to accomplish them, and to get going.
“Be like a swiss army knife,” said Glenn Schuck, an anchor/reporter from CBS Radio, “Whether it’s vlogging, podcasting, writing press releases: it’s best to make mistakes in undergrad so that you have a lot of different skills and abilities as you move into your professional life.”
All of the sessions emphasized the importance of networking, explaining how making connections with people allow us to build our network and can create opportunities. I still talk to and snapchat a few peers I met at the Convention, and I believe the same is true for the other RSM members.
The NSEMC allowed me to view my life and opportunities with a fresh perspective. I returned to Alliance with a little more motivation and a lot more excitement about what my future holds.