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