Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Golden Age of Hofstra Radio and the Importance of Internships

Ten days ago we celebrated a Hofstra milestone, the 50th anniversary of our radio station (WRHU, 88.7 FM).  The highlight of the anniversary was a dinner that included the first inductees into the Hofstra Radio Hall of Fame.  That dinner was a remarkable event. Almost 500 people attended including graduates of almost every year that our radio station has been in existence plus a significant number of undergraduate students who are looking forward to graduating.  It is always a challenge to organize a major event that spans the decades in its appeal.  Most events appeal to a relatively narrow segment of the community, few can span the decades successfully.  Our presidential conferences have had such an appeal as has our Educate’08 and Define’09 series which bracketed the October 15, 2008 presidential debate which took place on our campus.  What made this dinner so appealing and successful?  Was it the food, the venue, a national known guest speaker?  Actually, the appeal came well before the dinner; the appeal came from working at WRHU.  Working at the radio station was for many many students a life changing experience.  Life changing for some in terms of providing a career path that ultimately led to a successful career.  Life changing for others in providing a skill set and a team orientation that served them well regardless of what they ended up doing.  The proof is clear for all to see.  The 2009 inductees into our radio hall of fame include a multiple Emmy winner, and  well known media personalities and executives from impressive stations and companies such as CBS, WINS, Fox News, Sirius, just to name a few.

In 2009, it is clearer than ever that an outstanding educational experience often requires more than classroom experiences and a set number of credits.  The credits and the classroom have been, are, and will remain irreplaceable parts of the educational experience.  But also essential to providing that fully textured outstanding experience is an internship, which may or may not relate to a student’s major.  Internships are growth opportunities that increase a student’s sophistication and his or her skill set.  We provide our students with thousands of internship opportunities relating to virtually all of our majors as well as other areas of interest, and I encourage students to pursue these opportunities.  Without a doubt, if I was an undergraduate today I would sign up for multiple internship opportunities. In my opinion, the bottom line is that the more you do to prepare for a successful career and next chapter of your life, the more successful that you will be.

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