When I was in high school, all anyone cared about was getting in to the University of Florida. So this became my goal as well even though I grew up rooting for Virginia Tech and Penn State. But after getting to UF, my full intentions were to be a history major and become a lawyer or teacher.
After my first semester on the history track, I just wasn’t feeling it. What attracted me to history in the past was not so in college; I needed a change. One of my other loves was sports. I had to figure out, if I want a career in sports, what major is the best path? This began the path down telecommunications. And it’s been a fun ride.
I signed up with ESPN 850 WRUF (then called WRUF Sportsradio 850, and then ESPN Radio 850/900) since I love sports and always have.
It’s volunteer work and not an official class although you do receive one credit for working there. From doing sports updates to participating in Cheap Seats, the student-run talk show, it’s been one of the best experiences for me at UF. But I’m don’t slump my shoulders when doing news either. Working for WUFT in both my radio and TV classes have really opened my eyes to the world around me outside of sports. Before telecom, Gainesville didn’t mean a thing to me. But after seeing all these places and meeting all these people from around town, I can see it in a whole new light.
One of the other most important things I learned as a telecom major was how demanding a business it is. There’s a lot of work to get done and in this age of converged media, there’s fewer people to do it. This might make life difficult, but I always felt more proud when the work got done. One addition my junior year which blew my mind was the new innovative newsroom in The Center for Media Innovation + Research. Now everybody in radio and TV and journalism are all in the same facility. It is beautiful. Before, we were in a few separate, dinky rooms. It felt a little claustrophobic. From here on out our entire program can work as a functioning unit in an absolute state-of-the-art workplace.
I rarely have felt such a purpose in something I’ve done than when I am working in telecommunications at the University of Florida. The life of a broadcaster is hectic but also rewarding. You get to help speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. You help decide what is the news. That is a lot of power and as long as I continue in this business, I will take that responsibility seriously.