This summer, MSU student Claudia Price found herself on the camera crew recording an outdoor concert for BackStage Pass; Isaac Constans was in Flint, covering the victory celebration of Olympic Champion Claressa Shields for Current Sports with Al Martin; and Jason Wu helped run auditions to select the new cast of Curious Crew, the award-winning science TV show for kids.
Price, Constans, and Wu are MSU student employees at WKAR Public Media, mid-Michigan's source for award-winning originals and the best content from PBS and NPR. The station is headquartered in the College of Communication and Arts and Sciences, with studios and offices in the ComArtSci building on the south side of campus.
“WKAR has undoubtedly been the greatest working experience of my life,” said senior journalism major Isaac Constans, who works as an engineer and cohost of Current Sports Radio and a production assistant for Current Sports TV. “The environment, the people and the placement all combine to make it hospitable for student employees, although the end product is nothing but the highest degree of professional meticulousness.”
“This isn't a 'coffee-fetching' internship,” said WKAR Current Sports Host Al Martin. “Our students are shooting, editing, writing, and producing local content. That experience will prove to be vital once these students cross the stage to receive that respective degree.”
WKAR currently offers employment and internship positions for as many as 25 MSU students per term, and is committed to expanding those opportunities as the station enters a new era of original content creation for TV, film, radio, and online.
"The vision of the college and leadership team is to have WKAR be a training ground that allows students the opportunity for hands on experience,” said MSU College of Communication Arts and Sciences Dean Prabu David.
For Claudia Price, responsibilities have ranged from camera operation and staging to assistant producer and editing for both Curious Crew and BackStage Pass. It’s an experience that has taught the senior media and information major the “…importance of paying attention and being prepared for anything that's thrown at you.”
WKAR also offers students the opportunities to work directly with producers from developing strategy to creating content.
“Quite simply, we couldn't do what we do without our great students,” said WKAR-TV Executive Producer Tim Zeko. “Our student employees and interns are a vital resource for the creation of our award-winning content.
For junior media and information major Jason Wu, the opportunity to work as a production assistant has allowed him to put into practice what was absorbed from classes and extracurricular activities. In return, WKAR has taught Wu to be humble.
“No matter how many production sets you have been on, no matter how many lessons you have learned, mistakes can and will be made. Don't be arrogant, stay professional, and own up to your mistakes when they happen so that you can learn from them," said Wu.
To learn more about the various student opportunities at WKAR, please visit wkar.org/employment.