An excellent way to get immersed in campus life is by participating in your school’s campus media. Traditionally, college campuses have been home to student-run newspapers and radio stations. These days, most colleges also have a video and social media component to their communications mix. You don’t have to be a journalism student to take part either: just possessive of a natural curiosity and interest in connecting fellow students to the news.
Student radio stations are typically champions of independent and obscure music. If you’re musical tastes are far from ordinary and mainstream, you might enjoy hosting or producing a musical radio segment. The downside? Until you get some clout with the station, you’ll likely be segmented into one of the all-nighter slots. This can be a tough situation for both your academic and social worlds.
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to be the guy who “gets the scoop.” Working for the campus newspaper can be a great way to learn about all the comings and goings of the college. You will get to interview top academics and student leaders, gain access to events that students normally wouldn’t and get behind the scenes at sporting and entertainment events. Newspapers look for people who are good at writing, photography, graphic design and editing. As all print publications, student newspapers are always in need of advertisers. If you have a knack for sales, the campus press will be thrilled to have you on board.
New media has made its way into college communications in a big way. As a companion to the paper and radio stations, people who can tweet, blog and provide digital videos are in great demand. To excel at this role, you need a good understanding of new and emerging trends, have your finger on the pulse and be able to respond to issues quickly. Digital media is by nature a lot faster than traditional channels so a sense of urgency is always expected.
Whether as a volunteer or paid staff, working for student media is a great way to get involved in your school and gain valuable skills that will look stellar on your resume. In your three or four years of enrollment, why not try out a few different roles? The learning experience will help you get an advantage for many career paths, and you might just find out that journalism is the one for you!