Katy Feddersen, Learning About Radio and City Living.

July 23, 2010

It is six a.m. and the sun is rising. As I lay in bed, I wonder what new adventures the city of Chicago will bring me. Whether it is making a new friend on the Metra or walking through the insane traffic lining the beautiful city streets, I am excited for whatever tumbles my direction.

Working in Chicago has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I come from a small town where, like Cheers, "everyone knows your name." So when I was given the opportunity to intern for WGN Radio, I knew I had one chance to prove that I could nail the interview and survive in the big, bad city. It wasn't my best interview but they saw something in me and offered me an intern position in the advertising sales department. It definitely didn't hurt that I had received a "good word" from Tony Macaluso, a Bradley grad working in this department.

As an intern, I feel like a genuine part of the WGN Radio team. I have had the greatest experiences getting to learn the business of radio and media in general. On an average day in the office, I work on presentations that will be pitched to potential clients. Typically, the account executives will send me a pitch and I will add my creative touch to make them more uniform and eye catching. They have trusted my creativity so much that I was recently in charge of making all new Cubs pitch templates that they will use for seasons to come. I also pull commercials from our broadcast archive to send to clients, find and recording hot, new leads, and attend sales calls.

WGN Radio is blessed with a fast-paced, hard-working sales department. Although it would be funny to say they are all like Don Ready from The Goods, I would be lying if I said they were anything like him. On the contrary, each account executive is incredibly different from the next. They have their own style and stay true to their personality. That's the glorious part about sales: any personality has the potential to be successful. This remarkable quality is something I have discovered on my many trips to meet clients. It is an unbelievable opportunity to be able to watch professionals do their jobs. This experience brings sales theory to application and is invaluable.

Over the course of the summer I have learned so much about Chicago and the mass media world. I found out it takes 30 minutes to walk from Union Station to the Tribune Tower and that any cute shoe will probably leave your feet bleeding and begging for mercy.  More importantly, I have learned how the advertising market functions. I will be proud to tell future employers I have been exposed to media buying, radio program scheduling, and how to make radio sound appealing in a digital atmosphere. I have learned that sales is about making the people you are pitching to feel comfortable and making them your business partner and your friend. Working at WGN Radio has presented me with opportunity upon opportunity to examine more about the medium called radio and a whole new culture of city living.

I am happy to say I have joyfully spent my summer getting up at the crack of dawn to work at WGN. To my friends' disappointment, I have yet to meet Tom Schilling, but I have learned more than I have ever learned in three short months and I am truly grateful.