A Week of Juggling

Viola Malone CSUN graduate student (2018)

Everything literally happened so fast! A professor sent me the link and suggested that I apply. I had never come across this training and was very interested, however I was scared. I’d spent a weekend learning about the process, looking at past projects and filled out the application three times before submitting it. I knew it was a great opportunity, but I had my final semester of schoolwork hanging over my head. The fourth time I filled out the entire application I just went for it. I told myself the worst they can do is tell me I hadn’t been accepted, which would be okay, because I needed to focus on my thesis anyway.

Doug and the Next Gen family had other plans for me as I received a “you’re in” text! Not even an e-mail, I must have shown them something. Going into this intensive training I was nervous, anxious, excited … just a ball of feelings. The first day was the most nerve-wrecking for me, because I didn’t feel I was super prepared. I’d already prepared myself for a “no,” that I hadn’t completely thought about a “yes” and what that would mean. I didn’t feel overly prepared and if I’m not overly prepared, I’m not prepared at all. No matter how hard I tried to change it, my mind was fixated on completing school and graduating. I had to come up with a full-blown audio story, complete with text and social posts from start to finish within one week, what did I get myself into?! After our first meeting, I felt more at ease with the entire process. Not only did I have two potential subjects, my mentor, Mariana Dale, provided me with great balance. Granted, with all work situations, our work styles differ, but we made it work. We made a to-do list. We kept in constant communication. We heard each other out and worked together toward my story goal. Throughout the process of retrieving my audio interview I felt very supported by Mariana. During the times I held back she knew just what to say to get me moving forward. If things seemed to be too much to juggle, she was there with encouraging words and even a hand (literally). I really enjoyed the on the spot feedback and corrections. She did it just so without overstepping boundaries or pushing her way into my story.
Photo Source: Mariana Dale
Viola Malone capturing photos of Shoneji Robison, co-owner of Southern Girl Desserts.

The diverse group of individuals they chose supported and encouraged each other throughout the entire process. The project manager was amazing with daily check-ins and a written list of tasks. I knew working on this audio story would be a bit difficult for me as I have more experience writing narrative stories. After logging my audio, I was behind my group in preparing my story. My biggest takeaway from this project would definitely be the social media component. Honestly, the social media posts were the one thing I initially dreaded, but our social media leaders did an amazing job explaining what should be posted and how to go about making posts. I’m so very grateful for submitting that application and for Next Generation Radio providing students like myself with such an amazing opportunity.

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