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Ellen Hardy is a senior Radio/TV/Film major at Rowan University. She joined Rowan Radio in her sophomore year, and since then has became a true leader at the station. Now in her final year of college, she has some helpful words of advice for those wanting to become a part of their own college radio stations.
What first interested you in Rowan Radio?
I’ve always loved music and I thought why not go somewhere I could play music? Also, it’s broadcasted in the Tri-State area, meaning people are hearing me! I’m a personality, and I kind of need to be out there.
How did you get started?
I got the email that said when Rowan Radio was holding their introductory meeting, so I went and it was really interesting and I already knew I wanted to do it. Then, came training I was so paranoid during that whole process. I thought “Oh God, what if I break something or curse on air!?” Then, I passed training and the test and now here I am, Co-Operations Manager and practically in charge!
Can you describe some of the shows you have worked on?
I do a lot of Early Bird’s, which is a show early in the morning from 7-9am. There’s more talking than the regular daytime shows and I enjoy them more because I like to talk, in case you couldn’t tell! Then, I also do a show I absolutely adore on the weekends called the Sunday Matinee, which showcases the best in TV and movie soundtracks.
What do you love about DJing your own shows?
I love picking the music when it comes to DJ-ing my own shows, which can also be the hard part sometimes. However, I have fun with it and play music that I love. I get to play Big Time Rush every week!
How did you work your way up to the Executive Staff?
“Yeah, sure.” Literally, “yeah, sure” sealed my fate. What happened was, my friend Dianna became Promotions Director and needed an assistant, so she asked me if I wanted to do it and I said “Yeah, sure!” A year later, I am now Co-Operations Manager and I’m in charge of a lot more than I ever thought I would be. Especially considering I’m the girl who touches a computer and it breaks.
What are some of the duties you had in your first position on the Exec Staff?
As assistant promotions director, I actually didn’t do much. I did more of the tedious work like filing winners for contests, typing up our Featured Artist Friday promos, mailing out congrats letters to contest winners. I handled more of the paperwork while Dianna handled actually getting the promotions.
What did you like most about that position?
Well, I’m a big control freak and I liked the idea that I was able to do certain things my own way. I also learned how to type for radio, which is something I’ve never done before.
How did you go from doing promotions to ops?
Our former operations manager really wanted me to do operations and everyone else on the Exec staff agreed with her, because they felt I had worked here for quite some time and deserved that title.
What are some of the duties in your current position?
One of my biggest duties is to make sure there is someone on-air at all times. I also podcast, edit talk shows, and make sure everyone is doing their job.
What do you like about it?
Honestly, I just like knowing I’m helping people. When you’re in a higher position, more people come to you for help and I enjoy that! I like being able to share my knowledge. I don’t have that much knowledge to share, so whenever I can share the knowledge I do have I’m all about it!
Do you have any advice for those who want to become involved with college radio?
First off, don’t be afraid. Also, it’s okay if you mess up, because who cares?! I mess up all the time! They need to realize that messing up even happens in the professional world and you have to own it when it does happen. If you are scared, admit it. That way, we can teach you not to be scared.
How about any advice for next year’s Exec Staff?
Talk to each other. Communication is one of the most important things in life and something most of us should know how to do as communications majors. They are going to be the people you are closest with, because you’ll see them more than anyone else. Even though we are a college station, we are a legitimate station. Don’t let your personal problems affect you and your relationships with anyone. You have to be a professional, even for college. We are a professional college station.
How has being involved in Rowan Radio changed you as a person?
Believe it or not, I’m actually quite shy and I always expect the worst in every situation. However, now I have more positive outlooks on certain things. Also, I realized that why should I ever have to hold back on being me?! I am who I am and I shouldn’t have to apologize for it. The station helped me learn that.
Why do you think it is important for college campuses to have student run radio stations?
It prepares us for the real world. A lot of us want to do radio in real life, outside of college. Once we graduate, we know how to work the equipment. Everything at Rowan Radio is the same equipment that professional stations use.
What are your plans for after graduation?
After graduation, I really want to continue in radio. Hopefully I’ll land a job in Philadelphia, but if I have to move out to Utah, I will. I want to be a personality and be able to talk to people. I would like Ellen Hardy to be a household name someday.
How do you think the skills you have gained in Rowan Radio will help you in the real world?
I learned how to deal with people. My normal reaction to things is to run away and hide, because I avoid confrontation. However, you can’t avoid confrontation sometimes. You just have to be professional and hash it out like grown ups. I also learned how to talk professionally, how to act professionally, and still be me but in a professional way.
How would you sell becoming involved in college radio to non-communications majors?
It’s really easy and fun! We have something for everyone. No matter what you want to do, there is an opportunity for you.
Anything else you would like to add?
If you ever thought of joining college radio, don’t second guess yourself and just do it. Have fun and enjoy yourself because it’s going to be the best time ever. I’m in my senior year now, and I really don’t want it to end.