My Co-Curricular of Choice: WERS

The following entry was written by Anna Lindgren, Class of 2014

The studios at WERS

The studios at WERS

To say Emerson students are busy would be an understatement! Not only do we have a full course load, but many of us also have jobs or internships and are involved with at least one club on campus.

We call these on-campus groups “co-curricular” instead of “extra-curricular” activities because they really do go hand-in-hand with what we learn in the classroom. Most students get involved in activities that supplement their major, but co-curricular activities are also a great way to explore interests outside your area of study. That is how I, as a freshman writing major, found myself working at Emerson’s award-winning radio station, WERS.

Student working at WERS

The equipment that I got comfortable with over time.

During my first on-air shift at WERS, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. It was four in the morning and I was going to be spending my four-hour shift unsupervised in the studio. Every time I turned the mic on to speak, my voice would shake. I played songs in the wrong order, forgot to play promotional clips when I was supposed to, and ultimately felt like I had no idea what I was doing. But, as you would expect, practice makes perfect: after a couple of weeks on the early morning shift, I was more and more comfortable with the technology involved and less nervous about speaking to a faceless audience of thousands. The oversized board of flashing buttons and faders that at first was foreign to me became much less intimidating. I started getting more enthusiastic about the music I was playing as my focus turned away from my nerves.

The fact that students can supplement their education outside of their majors through co-curricular activities is one of my favorite things about Emerson. Although I have never taken a class in the Visual Media Arts department, I know my way around a sound board thanks to my time spent at WERS. I worked my way up from the graveyard shift to the coveted afternoon commute time slot. I became more comfortable with talking to thousands of people over the airwaves, and got better at keeping up with new music.

After I got my feet wet working on-air, I had the opportunity to host live in-studio performances where artists would play a couple songs and I would interview them. I got to meet some really incredible musicians that I admire. I will admit that it was hard at times to stay professional when I was feeling so starstruck! I may not pursue a career in radio after I leave Emerson, but I have undoubtedly learned some invaluable skills from my experience with WERS.

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