The Senior Experience

By MACKENZIE MAHER

The past 13 years of my schooling have all lead up to this moment: the moment when it was time for me to branch out away from the walls of Westlake High School and have a little sneak peak at what the real world had to offer.

Fourth quarter crept up quickly and it was time for all seniors to begin the senior internship. For me specifically, I had no idea what to expect when entering. I questioned: “What do I wear?”; “What do I bring?”; “What will I say?” These were only a few of the questions that ran through my head the morning of my first day.

Pulling into Westchester Community College Campus, it finally hit me, I was done with high school classes.

However, to my surprise, when I walked downstairs into the radio station to start my internship, I immediately felt like I belonged. This is where I wanted to be, and I was so excited to learn all the new things of the radio world and the real world.

Yet, also to my surprise, I was told that at 12:00 PM, on my first day, I’d be on air speaking. Once again, my mind entered a fanatic state: “ON AIR, SPEAKING? I AM NOT READY FOR THIS.”

Not letting my fear show, I went on air and pretended like I knew exactly what I was doing. The hour on air speaking went so fast, and I was actually sad my showtime was over for the day.

What I learned was that even though I was so afraid to do or say the wrong thing, I was prepared thanks to my years of learning how to communicate at Westlake. When I finished my first day, I was so excited to go back the following day to see what the next day and even month had in store for me at the station.

Capping off my third week of the Senior Experience, I have realized I wouldn’t want my senior year to end any other way.

Senior internships during the 4th quarter are the perfect placement to gain insight into what it means to be independent. In just a short three weeks, I have matured into someone who speaks fluently and confidently on the radio. Since I am going to major in communications at Sacred Heart University, radio is something I am definitely considering now. Without this internship, I would have never thought this would be a possible path for me. Being able to jump start what I want to do in life before college even begins has been an amazing opportunity for me and even for others who I have spoken to.

I have learned how to use all the soundboards at the station; I can speak on air without hesitation; and I know how to conduct myself in a professional environment. These are advantages that I will take with me to college this coming Fall.

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