Riding the aftermath of a major economic recession and subsequent recovery, many recent graduates are having trouble finding work that they aren’t overqualified for or that actually fits their major. Reading job outlook statistics can be depressing and disheartening, – but sometimes you encounter a positive story that reminds you that dreams can come true!
Alex McGinnis graduated from Old Dominion University in May and recently landed a sweet job at a local radio station. He majored in music business and was heavily involved with ODU’s student-run radio station, WODU.
He became general manager of WODU and co-hosted the hard rock show, Flatliner, which was one of the stations most successful programs.
We caught up with McGinnis to talk about his job and how ODU’s college media experiences helped.
SD What is your job title and what do you do?
AM – My current job title is promotions team member and on air staff for FM99 and 106.9. As a member of the promotion staff, I set up and break down all stations events, represent the stations at said events and assist any of the on air talents at events. As a member of the on air staff, I host the overnight slots on the weekends and fill in through out the day on show where the original talent is absent.
SD – Tell us about the people you’ve met and events you’ve been a part of.
AM – Well before I got the job at FM99 and 106.9, I worked for WODU where I met some of the coolest musical artist such as David Ellefson of Megadeth. I also worked for Charlottesville Radio Group (this was during my time at college) where I got to meet Colbie Callet, ReHab, Matt Nathanson and a bunch more. But hands down the coolest and greatest person I met was my radio idol, Jose Mangin of Sirius XM Satellite Radio. I’ve been a huge fan of his ever since I first started listen to XM radio. Then once I got into radio broadcasting, I focused on his broadcasts and learned a lot from him.
I haven’t met any cool people (besides some of the people I work with) at FM99 and 106.9 yet since, I just started but I have worked some incredible events such as Patriotic Festival where I saw the entire Patriotic Air Show front and center, and this massive Beer festival down at the waterfront.
SD – Do you feel any particular classes, or your involvement with WODU, helped you get the job or better prepare you for it?
AM – My pro tools/ production classes helped me the most because radio is all about audio engineering, recording, mixing and editing and that’s exactly what I did with pro tools . And there no doubt in my mind that working for WODU helped me with my career path, really WODU was the reason why I was hired at FM99 and !06.9 in the first place.
SD – How important is college media?
AM – College media is very important. College media is your practice space, its where writers, radio hosts and executive board members can hone their skills, learn new skills and continue to develop new ones. Plus you get to do a lot more shit in college then in the professional world!
SD – When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grow up, and where do you want to see yourself in the future
AM – When I was younger I never imagined being in radio or the music industry. Like every young kid, my mind jumped from firefighter, to cop, to anything else a young boy would think. It wasn’t until Senior year of high school where I made the decision that I wanted to be a police officer, but before I got into the police academy, I wanted a degree in criminal justice. So my freshmen year of college I was studying criminal justice. Then I joined WODU and everything changed.
In the future I want to see myself working at either one of my two dream jobs. The first dream job is working at Sirius XM for the Liquid Metal, Octane, Hairnation or Ozzys Boneyard channels just like Jose Mangin. The second dream job, is to move to Nashville (which also has a Sirius XM headquarters) and continue to work in radio but also work with a management, entertainment or promotions company.
By Sean Davis
Mace & Crown