Experience a day in the life of a Y100 intern

Courtney Starbuck

While most people probably have an idea of where they would like to intern, I more or less stumbled upon mine. I was beginning to feel the crunch of planning for my spring semester of senior year. I quickly discovered that my search for an internship was no different than any other part of my life. After several trips to the internship office in the St. Augustine Center, nothing particularly caught my eye. I then took my search to the Internet.

I do not remember exactly why I chose to look at the Y100 website. Maybe it was because I was regular listener of the Y100 Morning Show, which I thought was hysterical. (If I can start my day at 6:45 a.m. laughing out loud, that is reason enough to see if job opportunities are available!)

Whatever the reason, I saw that they offered internships. Unfortunately, the application deadline for the spring semester was the following day. As I did not have much time, I immediately spruced up my resume and prepared to e-mail it with my cover letter first thing in the morning. I did just that.

After a week, I received a phone call notifying me that I had an interview. Dress for the interview was casual, and it was held on a Saturday, which seemed to take some pressure off, because it seemed much less formal than an interview on a weekday. I interviewed the first week in December and I thought it went rather well. In addition to answering my interviewer’s questions, we discussed previous accomplishments, as well as my goals for the internship. I was told that I would receive a phone call within the next couple of weeks.

I was anticipating the call to come before Christmas, but that did not happen. Before I went back to school, I started looking for last-minute internship possibilities (most had application deadlines as early as October!). As I drove back to school, I checked my on-campus voice mail from my cell phone on the off-chance that I had a message. As it turned out, my interviewer (and future boss), Kristin Miller, had called to inform me that I was chosen as a member of the 2003 Y100 Street Squad. I was elated!

From the first time I met my fellow Street Squad members, I noticed that they were different from me. Not one attend Villanova, which I like because I really wanted to meet people outside of the Villanova community. In addition, most have several piercings in “non-traditional” places, more than one hair color (and by color I mean purples and bright reds!) and vast knowledge of bands that I have never even heard of.

They also seem to share a dislike for “the norm” and a love (almost to the point of obsession) of CDs and alternative music. Also, most live at home with their parents, even though they are in to their mid-to-late twenties! Despite these differences, however, I also noticed that everyone has a great sense of humor.

As a member of the Street Squad, there are several things that we do. Our main job is to promote the radio station. We do that by attending various events, which can be held anywhere from bars to movie premieres to ski resorts to concerts to grocery stores and everything in between.

A typical event lasts about two hours, but there are many more that last much longer than that. We are allowed to wear whatever we want, as long as our ensemble includes a provided Y100 logo t-shirt. We are required to ride to and from events as a team and we are not allowed to drink alcoholic beverages or eat while the event is going on. In addition to events, we also must go into the office once a week for two hours (I actually go in for four because I want to) to perform “lowly office duties.”

These include entering database information, shredding contest entry forms, making phone calls and checking outgoing mail. We attend weekly staff meetings to discuss the previous week’s accomplishments and problems, address other issues and sign up for the upcoming week’s events. Although we may work as many as we please, it is required that we do one event during the week and one event on a weekend to fulfill our weekly quota.

Since every event is different, it requires me to constantly customize my behavior to match the event I am attending. Some people like to just sit and wait for patrons to come up and inquire about the station or the giveaways. Others, like me, go out and talk to people, ask questions, initiate games and contests and dance. It is important to me to show that I am having a good time, and more often than not, that already is the case.

It is hard to choose a favorite event. I have done events at numerous bars, including a celebrity bartending charity event. I also skied twice (for free!), ice skated at the River Rink several times and helped give away a Mercedes to a lady who has ridden a bus for nine years. We do get free CDs, T-shirts and other giveaways if we want, which is cool. But it is forbidden to even ask to get backstage at a concert. As I said, different events call for different promotion behavior. Sometimes the event’s crowd is young and already aware of our station; others are an older, more professional crowd that is less interested in our giveaways. It is crucial to decipher who the patrons are and how to go about promoting without being invasive.

If you enjoy talking to people, have an outgoing personality, are well-rounded and like wearing a T-shirt and jeans to work, then you should try radio promotions. Having good conflict management skills, as well as tactfulness, are also important because the behavior of drunken patrons is never predictable. Thankfully, I have not been involved in any serious conflicts, but annoyances such as people trying to take the giveaways are fairly common.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with the internship. As a matter of fact, I really love what I do. Although I do not have a favorite event, I do know that the most enjoyable part about interning with Y100 is meeting new people. Even though I am unpaid (although receiving six credits), I enjoy attending events and I do not even consider them “work.” Instead, I see them as important and fun networking opportunities. I never know whom I am going to meet, and I get to see lots of new places and potential hangouts. Moreover, I love the fact that I am not in a stuffy office all day or simply running coffee and files around for someone whom treats me disrespectfully.

It is not clear what this internship will amount to. If nothing else, I have truly made some good contacts, as well as friends in my fellow Street Squad members. I have also learned that promotions are an avenue I may want to pursue and every little bit of narrowing down counts!