Illinois Radio Personality Spills The Tea: What’s Radio Really Like?
As my one year anniversary approaches working in the radio industry in Rockford, Illinois, I want to reflect on everything I've learned over the past year!
Never in a million years did I think this would be an opportunity I'd be given.
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Three months before I started this journey in January of 2022, I was working odd jobs from being a social media manager for local businesses, to DoorDashing, to riding horses at a summer camp, and being a Paraprofessional at East High School in Rockford, Illinois.
I honestly had no idea where my life was going until I got a phone call about a job opportunity at a radio station I've listened to my entire life; 97ZOK.
This presented itself at the most perfect time because I was ready to put my creative mind back to work! After landing the job as a Digital Content Creator, Radio Personality, and Producer for the Steve Shannon Show, it has been an unimaginable experience and given me so much purpose in my life!
Here's what I've learned working at Rockford's #1 Hit Music Station:
#1: I discovered I am talented.
After recording tons of commercials over the past year, I realized my voice is powerful. I never had a talent growing up. So after 24 years of searching for it, it was right in front of me the entire time - well, inside of me haha.
#2: The platform I have been given is a blessing.
I've always wanted to have a large platform to empower others and to show we're all human. I have flaws, make mistakes, and embarrass myself just like the rest of the world. Social media is like my diary, except I keep it open for everybody to read!
#3: Radio people are my kind of people!
I work with on-air personalities I've only ever listened to growing up. It's crazy to meet the faces behind the voices for the first time ever.
From Steve Shannon (97ZOK), to JB Love (Q98.5), to Double T (96.7 THE EAGLE), to Joe Dredge (WROK 1440 AM), they're some of the most incredible, hilarious, and quick witted humans I'm grateful to say are in my life.
#4: My career is the only "interesting" thing about me
Okay, I had to add this one in (lol). Since working here, the only thing anybody wants to talk about with me is Radio. I get it, it's a different type of job. I'm totally cool with it because it's literally the only hobby I have - yes, work can be fun!!!
Overall, within the one year I've worked in the Radio industry, it has been an experience I just can't explain. I'm so thankful for all my friends and family who've watched me grow, all the knowledge I've learned from my coworkers, and I wouldn't be here without the one and only Midday Michelle.
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Without Michelle randomly approaching me and asking me to be her intern at 97ZOK in 2017, I wouldn't even exist in this industry today. Thank you, Michelle!!!
Much love to everybody who listens to this station, continues to call in for all the games we play on the Steve Shannon Show, and all the phone calls we get with the most mic-dropping stories. You're a real one! Cheers to another year in Radio!