You can’t get a job in media without real industry experience. You can’t get real industry experience without an internship. And in this day and age, you can’t even get an internship without PRIOR experience. What’s next? 20 years of experience to get a summer job flipping burgers at 16? At this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised…
Growing up, some of the most popular dream jobs are in the media. Writer, actor, director, musician. A mixture of maturity and reality steers most people clear of such dreams by the time it comes to applying to college. But not everyone.
At UH, those interested in pursuing a career in media have a plethora of options to choose from. The Valenti School of Communication, Moore’s School of Music and the School of Theater and Dance all offer students the training they need to pursue a career in media. Naturally, UH boasts multiple clubs and organizations relating to your major. All of these colleges have their own associate clubs and programs to help students gain experience and connections. On top of that, many independent student organizations serve a similar purpose.
Introducing Coog Radio
One such org is Coog Radio, located within the Center for Student Media, which also houses the likes of Coog TV, the Cougar and yours truly, Cooglife.
UH doesn’t have a radio degree, the closest you can get is media production. However, those wanting a career in radio are not the only ones who benefit from the station. People interested in business, journalism, engineering, marketing and more all find something of value. Two such people are Keylee Paz and Victor Javier Vazquez.
Paz is a Graduate Student of Mass Communication. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Texas and uprooted her whole life in Austin to study at UH. At UT, she’d been a part of multiple orgs with a focus on writing. She knew her future lay in reporting. So upon something to UH, she immediately applied to write for the Cougar and Coog Radio. Coog Radio got back to her in a jiffy.
“Coog Radio was the first one who accepted me, and I’m still with them to this day,” said Paz. Once I’m a part of an organization that accepts me and I accept them, I’m gonna stay with them.”
Today, Paz serves as the Web Director, the editor-in-chief of the radio station’s online publication who also doubles in marketing and press relations in addition to her daily tasks. Regardless of your level of experience, Coog Radio’s friendly members will help newcomers succeed in whatever they hope to accomplish, be it writing, hosting a radio show, podcasting, mixing or anything in between.
“I think what helps that friendly vibe is the fact that like we’re all here for one purpose; we all love music.,” explained Paz “So it’s easy for us to talk. We might like different music, but that’s the thing you exchange what music you like. It’s just like a great community that likes to grow. Basically, like grow as a person and grow your music taste.”
Coog Radio can benefit any media major looking to get some bylines to their name, build a reel using podcasts or a radio show, learn how to operate sound equipment, play music or network with local artists. However, Paz believes that Coog Radio has something to offer all students regardless of their degree plan.
“It’s very inclusive here. Here at Coog Radio, the people I’ve met are very different. Some people do computer science, engineering, communication.”
When asked about what majors would benefit the most from Coog Radio, Paz’s list was long. Journalism and media production were obvious answers. But business, accounting, engineering, computer science, marketing and public relations majors would directly benefit too. Any major can turn Coog Radio content into an asset to their resume by utilizing press credentials to cover things in their field or creating a podcast on relevant topics.
One such non-communication major is Victor Javier Vazquez. Vazquez is studying computer information systems. He didn’t have too many friends as a freshman. This changed after attending his first Coog Radio general meeting. He made friends who taught him how to work turntables and encouraged him to get into DJing. Additionally, he hosts his own radio show.
“My radio show is called The Industry,” said Vasquez “It encapsulates certain genres of rap music. So like old school and new school. I talk about different news that’s going on in the hip-hop and rap industry. Then I put in some songs that I just like to listen to that fit that criteria.”
His guests aren’t limited to artists, as he also invites podcasters, designers and music fans to give their take on the industry.
When asked about any advice he would give to someone curious about joining Coog Radio, he encourages them to relax and come as you are.
“Be open to all different ideas. Don’t be scared to voice out what you feel is close to your heart as far as music genre and music. Take it, I feel, you’re entitled to your own opinion, and this is like a safe haven for you.”
Take it from me, you don’t want to depend on your student work to get you a job in media after college. Can it happen? Yes, given the right connections. Is it recommended? Not even remotely.