Photography by Deeana Kourtney Photography
It is my greatest honor to finally be able to share this joyful news with all of you! I feel like I have been sitting on the biggest secret for the past few weeks, but I wanted to make sure that everything was in place and 100% official before I announced it here. Today's blog post is a story of patience, determination, trusting in God's plan, and holding on to a very big dream, and I can't wait to share it all with you. I know that some of you are probably just reading to hear the nitty gritty details that this bold blog post title promised, so I'll get right to all of that first and foremost! And then if any of you want to stick around for a little more, the post will continue on below where I'm sharing the story of my first exposure to a radio station, and when I knew I wanted to be a radio personality when I grew up. But without further ado- let's jump in:
*Let's recap first- what have I have been up to for the past year? Following my graduation from college in May 2016, I enrolled in broadcasting school. My broadcasting school is a 10-month program where students are intensively trained for a career in radio, television or video/audio production. While I am glad that I was able to learn more about TV and production during this year, it was very clear from me early on in my time there that radio was going to be my career path.
All students at my broadcasting school must complete an off-campus internship in their final months of schooling, and I began mine with a morning radio show here in Charlotte right after New Year's. Not even a couple weeks after starting my internship, I began applying to radio jobs across the country. For a number of reasons, as much as I love Charlotte as a city, I've been feeling like it's time to move away from here for a season of life. I also didn't know how long my job search would take, so that's why I wanted to begin early. And that's what lead to...
*My first radio job: I am so pleased to share that beginning on April 17th, I will begin my dream career! I will be working as an on-air radio personality for not one, but TWO stations! On weekdays, you'll be able to hear me on a Top 40 station, and on weekends I'll be on-air for an AC (adult contemporary) station. This couldn't be a more ideal first radio job for me, as one decision that I struggled to think about in broadcasting school is if I wanted to pursue Top 40 radio or AC. I love and listen to both formats, and genuinely didn't know for awhile which I would rather work in. Well- now I don't have to decide! One of my favorites sayings is "win-win," and in the case of my job I think this is the ultimate win-win! And note I said "you'll be able to hear me..." - both stations broadcast online and have listening apps as well, so you don't have to be in my new city to tune in! But that brings me to...
*Where I'm moving to: This wannabe Southern Belle is doing something she never thought she would do... moving OUT of the South and back to New England! If that doesn't prove how dedicated I am to my career and how much I love radio, I truly don't know what does. 😉 And no- I'm not moving home to Maine. I am actually moving to Burlington, Vermont! I have to stress- while I did want to leave Charlotte for the time being, at the same time I truly didn't see myself ever moving anywhere near New England again. But I also love everything about my new job, and in so many ways, this specific career opportunity is a God thing, and I know that Burlington is exactly where I'm supposed to be next. While I might not be excited for rough winters again, I am so excited for the adventures to come and discovering a new state and city!
*Is your blog name changing? This is the question everyone wants to know, haha! The answer is no, not at least for the first year I'm there. If Burlington and New England end up being a more permanent fit for me, or a place that I'm in longer than Charlotte, then you bet there will probably be a major blog rebranding in the the future! But at least not for the first year. Partly because I'm not sure if Vermont will be a season in my life or a permanent home, and partly because a blog rebranding and design is a big thing to undertake, not to mention expensive! Plus- "Southern Belle in Training" is a name that means a lot to me, and despite where I live, I will always be a Southern Belle in Training! I've fallen head over heels in love with Southern Culture, and I always hope to emulate characteristics of a modern Southern Belle, both on and off the air. 😊
I was flown up to Burlington for my final interview for this position a few weekends ago, which was when I took a random social media break for a few days if any of you remember! I wanted to be completely present and focused on what all was to come while I was there, which ended up being a great decision. And speaking of trips to Burlington, my mom and I are here again right now! I wasn't able to find an apartment during my interview trip, so we came back for a few days to tour a lot more places. It seemed appropriate to finally blog about the big news while I'm here!
Lastly, I wanted to share the story about how I became interested in radio as a young girl. While my mind did change a few times in middle school and high school about what I wanted to be when I grew up (other possible careers included journalist and teacher), I always would come back to radio personality. Anyways- here's the story:
My dad has a very deep and booming voice (I definitely get my loud voice from him!), and back in 2002, his company gave him the opportunity to record a radio spot for them at one of the local Maine radio stations. My dad would be spending the afternoon at the station recording the spot. Up until this point in time, I was quite the young radio enthusiast. By "radio enthusiast," I mean that I had a special radio ritual that took place most weekday afternoons. When I was six, my parents got me a pair of roller blades. As much as I enjoyed using them outdoors, I wanted to maximize my new toy to its full extent, so I used them indoors as well! Part of the basement in my house is unfinished, and most afternoons when I was six/seven years old, I used to head down to the unfinished part of the basement, but on my rollerblades, lift out my
snazzy Philips boom box, unfold its radio antenna, and crank up the latest tunes on Maine's #1 leader for hit music, Q 97.9. And then I would skate laps around the basement, listening to my favorite radio hits and the afternoon DJ. (Mind you- the unfinished part of our basement was NOT large at all. They were very small laps. Haha!) Anyways, my afternoon basement roller skating radio fest kept me entertained for a long time, and when my dad had the opportunity for this commercial for his company, he asked if he could bring me along. The station said yes, and I was SO excited!
The day finally came to visit Q 97.9, and it was wonderful. My dad got to record the commercial, and while that was going on for him the afternoon DJ gave me a special tour of the station! A highlight of my tour was when I was shown where all of the new CDs were kept (does that prove how long ago this was?), and he told me I could pick one out to keep! If you're wondering what I chose, it was Enrique Inglesias's Escape, and I still have it to this day. (I'm also still an Enrique fan today! Ha.) They also told me I could pick out a song that would play later that hour, and I requested "One More Time" by Daft Punk. My dad and I later heard it as we were headed back home on the highway, and knowing that I had helped to pick that song gave me a feeling of happiness like I had never had before! Even at just seven years old, I knew in my heart that the feeling that I was experiencing right then as a consumer of radio, was what I wanted to give to people as my future career. I wanted to pick the songs and talk to the listeners (...or basement roller skaters, in my specific case). I wanted to have my voice be heard. I wanted to be a radio DJ! And here we are... about 15 years later, and the dream I never gave up on is finally coming true.
Thank you so much if you've made it to the end of this very long post! (And also a huge thank you to Deeana, my blog photographer, for the radio head shots! This photoshoot was definitely out of the norm for what we usually do, but still so fun!) A lot of changes will be coming in the next month in my life, but despite the huge move and new career, I hope to still keep things consistent here on Southern Belle in Training. I hope that y'all will be sticking by my side through what's to come, as I can't wait to bring my career and blog together!
"For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11