Southeast Missouri State University student Amanda Petty of Cape Girardeau, Mo., who is majoring in mass communication with an emphasis in radio, is currently interning with KGON in Portland, Ore. There, she hosts on-site contests and giveaways, performs data entry, and is responsible for website maintenance. She also assists the five other radio stations that share KGON’s building.
“The main lesson I’m taking away from this experience is that I must be adaptable. To the public I represent whatever station I might be working for that day, so I have to shift my thinking a bit to accommodate the different demographics,” she said. “The real lesson in adaptability comes on the days where everything is going wrong. There will be those kinds of days no matter what anyone does to prevent them, and all anyone can do is just work through the rough situations.”
Petty chose to do her internship in Portland because she loves to travel, and her sister lives in the city. Petty said she most enjoys working in radio because the multi-faceted industry offers opportunities for employees to experience different areas of the business.
“Radio isn’t about just the disc jockeys. There is a whole team of people in various departments working to keep the station on-air and relevant to their target audience,” she said. “Once you have a job in a station, there are many things you can do. You don’t have to stick to that one thing.”
Petty first gained radio experience at RAGE 103.7, the Southeast radio station programmed and managed by Department of Mass Media students. Also on campus, Petty is a member of the National Broadcasting Society (NBS), the student organization that unites students and electronic media professionals to discuss events and trends on local, regional and national levels.
“NBS is helpful in making contacts in the broadcasting industry,” Petty said.
Before she graduates, Petty said she hopes to find a part-time job at a local commercial radio station, and after she graduates, she plans to stay in Cape Girardeau and begin working full-time. Despite her career choice of radio, Petty said she is a fairly quiet person.
“I used to be extremely shy and withdrawn, but being in college has taught me to open up more,” she said. “My years at Southeast have definitely taught me more about myself and have let me grow into a better person.”
While not focusing on her career, Petty said she likes to explore the Cape Girardeau area.
“I know pretty much all of the roads in Cape Girardeau County. I like picking a direction and just letting the road take me wherever. I very rarely use a map; I figure if I get lost, I’ll hit a town that I know eventually,” she said.
Petty said she also enjoys reading, listening to music and blogging in her spare time, and, although she often does not have the chance to, she also likes to visit the ocean.
“Being from the Midwest, I’ve only been to the ocean a handful of times, so any destination that takes me within walking distance of a beach is my favorite. I would love to visit New Zealand and Australia sometime, but if I ever travel overseas, I’ll probably start out in Britain,” she said.
Petty encourages other Southeast students to get involved. She said this is especially important for fellow commuter students, who might feel somewhat detached from campus.
“It doesn’t have to be a sorority or fraternity,” she said. “Keep an eye on the bulletin boards around the buildings where events are posted all the time, and then go to one or several. Don’t let the excuse of not being a resident of one of the dorms keep you from making friends and enjoying the campus and the events taking place.”