When I first found out my pitch was approved for Next Generation Radio, I was so excited to have the opportunity to work alongside professional reporters, editors, producers, and engineers. I knew I was going to learn new skills to improve my craft while also producing a multimedia feature. I anticipated this week feeling like sprinting a marathon, but I was ready for the challenge.

There were a few times when I felt overwhelmed and anxious because I wasn’t sure how I was going to finish every task, but my mentor Leslie was always reassuring me that we had the time, and we were still on schedule. Her consistent encouragement helped blocked-out any worries I had moving forward. I was so amazed at how much we got done in just a few days.

The editing sessions with Leslie, Alexis, Amy, Ellis, and Selena were extremely beneficial. As someone who attended a small university where there were only two journalism professors, it’s important that I seek advice from a variety of professionals in the industry. There were times when I questioned their critiques (as respectfully as I could) to clear up confusion, and everyone was very gracious and willing to explain what I was missing. Their “anything-you-need” attitudes were exactly what I needed.

My source, Daniel Marks, was incredibly cooperative throughout this entire process, from my initial pitch to calling him at 8:30 p.m. for follow-up questions. Sometimes it’s difficult to track down sources or even have sources who are willing to help out in a timely manner, so I really appreciated his time.

Overall, this week has been an amazing whirlwind of an experience! The lessons I’ve learned about reporting, writing, mixing, and audiograms will most definitely carry over into my podcasting goals. I can’t wait to start incorporating all the new tips and tricks I obtained.