I was a different person a week ago. Now that I’m through the gauntlet of NextGenRadio, I’m ready to take on the world. The program reinforced the lessons I learned during my time at Texas State University and “The Texas Standard” on KUT Austin. It also gave me new tools and a newfound confidence in my ability and work ethic. 

The program is a step into an actual workplace. One is challenged to push their technical skills and journalistic prowess. The application process is an assignment in itself. It pushes you to go beyond the warmth of comfort but gives you the freedom to be creative. I appreciated the theme, as a son of immigrants who grew up hearing about their first days in the United States.

NextGenRadio taught me to trust those around me. The people on the team are there for a reason. At one point, I had to take a step back and acknowledge my place as a student. I appreciated the diversity of backgrounds, professions and skills. My mentor gave me enough freedom to pave my own path but enough guidance to refine and smooth the stone. She made me comfortable enough to be myself and gave me great insight on my story.

I learned how to make the most of recording technology. I  learned how to use equipment with efficiency to produce a professional-grade piece. The use of art in the process made the project feel whole – it gave the story another layer of immersion. The creative process made me think about the significant themes and anecdotes of my subject.

Getting feedback from the editor made the work very worthwhile. The critiques gave me a real sense of story structure. With every edit, I was presented with new challenges that tested my imagination and problem-solving skills.

Even though the program is only a week long, I feel as though I’ve obtained years of knowledge. I have a good sense of what will be expected of me in a work environment. I’m ready to enter the workfield but will still remain open to learning and growing. I know I am barely beginning my career but this program has put me ten steps ahead and for that, I am thankful.

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