by Jessie Nocella / Log Features Editor
Whether it’s paid or unpaid, an internship in college is a key to learning work experience. As a junior majoring in journalism, I landed myself a paid internship at a local newspaper last semester. Come to find out I only chose this path because I loved writing, not to be a reporter and transcriber in a stressful environment. I stayed for seven months on minimum wage, before turning in my two weeks to focus on school. For some, internships help you learn what you DON’T want to do, and for others, they find out it’s exactly what they want and more.
Lauren Pray is a senior at SSU majoring in marketing and minoring in economics and public relations. She knew her mind was set on getting involved in the entertainment and performance industry through media and was not willing to compromise her dreams.
Pray consistently worked to get an unpaid position at the Boston-based radio show, Kiss 108 (107.9 FM). She was enrolled in an internship course that allows students to pick their own internships and get approved for class credit.
Without the schools help, Pray drove to Boston in a blizzard with coffee to convince the station to give her a position. When she arrived, no one was at the office. That didn’t stop Pray, and she worked until she got what she wanted. She started to help out at the radio, getting an inside view of the spotlight and what a successful radio station looks like. And she got to work exclusively with radio show hosts, Billy Costa and Matt Siegel, “Matty in the Morning.”
By the beginning of fall semester 2016, she found out the unpaid internships were being taken away at the radio station due to complaints and miscommunication about the lack of compensation. The radio explained that students got class credit, which was in return for the hours, not money. Pray understood this and looked at the opportunities and connections that the radio presented to her.
“I knew I wanted to be surrounded by music, I want to be where there’s excitement, I wanted to be loving my job that’s why I didn’t care about going in for free because I see how excited Billy is at work,” Pray said.
With a head full of motivation she continued to wake up and leave Salem at 5 a.m. to commute to the station in Boston to help with whatever they needed. She also created a website for the station after the incident called Save The Interns. It provided a brief description of the interns and their positions as well as some pictures of what they do in the office.
“Everything’s always new and you get to be in the office and on the computer educating yourself daily and meeting celebrities. That’s the most awesome thing.”
Pray has made her way from a regular college student studying marketing, to becoming a businesswoman and self-taught entrepreneur. She currently is being trained to go on-air and give local weather or traffic reports. Without her involvement at Kiss 108 she may have never pursued or followed her passion.
Pray will be backstage with Billy Costa this Sunday helping conduct the Kiss 108 Jingle Ball interviews. So, don’t give up on what you want and don’t underestimate an internship opportunity! Work past the trials and perhaps, you just might find you’re exactly where you need to be.