HOW I GOT MY FIRST RADIO PRESENTER JOB
So how did I get my first radio presenter job? Wondering how YOU can get your first job in the broadcasting industry? Are you stuck in a rut and tried everything to get a job in radio but just can’t bang down that door?
I know how hard it is to even get into the media industry and believe me, its mighty difficult to sustain a successful radio career too. Hopefully my story will give you some inspiration on how you can take your first steps on the radio ladder.
When my radio fascination began.
It all started when I was five years old. I used to make tapes for my family and school teachers – yep cassette tapes, none of this MP3 business! Back then I obviously didn’t know that what I was actually doing was putting together my very own radio show. I would play songs (mainly nursery rhymes!) and talk in between the tracks which in radio terms would be called a ‘link.’
I would also interview my parents and ask them random questions like ‘who was your favourite teacher at school.’ I can remember my Mum telling me to go away once because she was trying to cook and I was shoving a big black cassette player in her face demanding she answer my very important questions.
No one in my family works in the media industry or is even remotely associated with it. So, it is quite random how my passion for radio started from a very young age. I’ve just always been creative and I was fascinated that I could hear people’s voices coming out of a speaker. I can remember looking into the radio speakers and lifting them up desperately trying to find the people inside the radio!
Radio Presenter – Schooly
My first time on-air!
The first time I was ever heard on the airwaves was when I was 15 years old. To this day I believe it was fate what happened to me. Sounds weird but let me explain.
One fine summers day I was taking a break from my exam revision. I was in my room listening to the radio and skipping through radio stations. It was then I heard a man’s voice, a super cool radio presenter called Schooly (pictured above) He was announcing about a brand new radio competition. Without any hesitation I hit record on my cassette player.
The radio station was Capital FM in London which was so fuzzy on my radio player that I could barely hear it from my tiny village in rural Oxfordshire. That’s why I believe this was fate for me to hear that radio competition as it started me on my long journey in the broadcasting industry.
I made my demo immediately for Capital’s Radio Star Competition – the prize was to host your own one-off show on the station. I listened all week to the ‘worst demo’s’ thinking they would play mine! Luckily, I managed to be whittled down to the last 20 contestants out of thousands of demo’s they received.
Unfortunately I didn’t win the competition but this gave me the radio bug and I was determined to get some work experience at my local radio station.
If I never took a break from my revision at that particular time and if I never flicked through the radio stations and stumbled upon the competition, I may still be trying to bash down that door – who knows.
HOWEVER, I did take the initiative to enter the competition and put all my effort into making a very good demo tape. I wan’t thinking about the prize, making money, getting a job at Capital – my only goal was to make a great demo tape that was creative and that I was proud of.
If there’s one thing you take away from this post it would be this –
TAKE EVERY OPPORTUNITY THAT COMES YOUR WAY & GIVE IT ALL YOU’VE GOT!
If I never entered the competition I may have never landed my first radio presenting job…….
My first radio presenter job
I sent the demo I made and the audio from my time being interviewed on Capital FM to my local radio station in Oxford. I accompanied my cassette with a letter (yep again we wrote letters back then!) and basically said I was willing to do anything at the radio station.
Two weeks of work experience turned into two years of presenting, producing and helping out around the station. I worked hard and showed I was passionate about progressing in the radio industry. The managers of the radio station noticed my enthusiasm and BANG – they started training me as a radio presenter.
And that’s how I got my first job as a radio presenter!
Are you now ready to learn how to be a radio presenter? Get the insiders guide to radio from people I used to work with at my local radio station in Oxford, the manager of BBC Essex and many more top industry peeps.