Matt, Talk Programming Intern – NYC Office

During the 2018 summer, I had the privilege of interning for SiriusXM’s Progress 127 channel under the talk-programming internship program. Under this internship, I was assigned to intern for four different shows within the Progress 127 channel. All four shows broadcasted out of the same the studio in SiriusXM’s 1221 office.

Leading up to the internship I was beyond excited to start this journey. I was excited to see how a real radio station operates in comparison to how my college’s radio station, that I work for, operates. Though, I was also a bit nervous about what lay ahead. Firstly, this was my first internship in my radio career. I also did not have all the details of what the internship at SiriusXM, which is a huge corporation that plays a large part in the lives of its millions of subscribers, would exactly entail.

The first few days were a bit intimidating as I was trying to find my way around the 1221 office, tried to recall the names of the different individual’s that I was going to be working with, and tried to get used to the pace of the Progress 127 channel. Lastly on top of all of that, I was also trying to get used to the goals that each of the different producers, that I worked with for each of the four shows, envisioned for me. Though, I was doing a lot of the same work for each show, each show that I worked on navigated doing the same tasks through a bit of a different lens.

As time went on, I got more comfortable working with the Progress 127 team and also felt more confident walking around 1221’s office. I also found myself taking on more initiatives once I felt that my mentor was able to trust me with the various tasks that were being thrown my way.

This internship truly gave me a wide variety of experiences due to the fact that I was assigned tasks ranging from pre-production to post-production work. Some of the pre-show work included: looking up information regarding the different interviewees and putting interview questions together for the hosts to ask their guests, recording audio clips for the upcoming shows, putting a clip sheet together, creating show cut sheets with a rundown of times for commercial breaks and interviews for the upcoming shows.

During the live-shows I did quite a bit as well. Some of this work including: setting up the studio prior to the start of the shows, greeting in-studio guests and bringing them into the studio, screening calls that came in during the duration of the live shows, operating the board, calling guests on the phone and getting them ready to be interviewed on air, logging shows by keeping a record of the topics/guests that were being discussed/interviewed respectively on the shows and tweeting out on our station’s twitter page.

The work did not end there. There were tasks that still had to be completed after each show. These post-production responsibilities included: saving on-air recorded shows in each show’s respective daily folder, creating audiograms, moving files to Profit in order for pre-recorded interviews to be played on their own during live shows, and editing audio from recorded shows with Adobe Audition. Being able to see how a SiriusXM radio show is run from start to finish was one of the biggest rewards of this internship. I gained a new appreciation for all of the hard work that goes into every aspect of every single show that gets aired.

Throughout the semester, there were Snack and Learns as well. The “Snack and Learn” series were short sessions that were intended to advance the interns’ knowledge of the SiriusXM workplace. It was nice to have different speakers at these events; they all gave my food for thought. These sessions were also a nice way of regrouping with the other interns who I did not always have the chance to run into on a constant basis since everyone had different schedules working within different sectors within the overall SiriusXM company.

Looking back there were definitely ups and downs throughout my time at SiriusXM.  I was challenged to be my best and was pushed out of my comfort zone. I have also become more politically active than before working on the Progress 127 channel. Though as an overall, I loved this internship experience and will cherish this experience for the rest of my career. When I applied for this position, there was one sentence in the description that stuck out to me. This line said something like: “interns do more than just get coffee”. Initially, I did not know whether or not to believe this line. Though, after completing this internship I can confirm that line is very true. Interns do truly do more than just coffee. This internship taught me valuable skills that I will take with me during my future endeavors and helped me develop skills that will stay with me for the rest of my radio career. I hope to even bring back some of the skill that I learned at this internship to the radio station that I am a part of at my college.

I plan to stay in touch with my mentor and those individuals that made a lasting impression on me throughout my time this summer. Thank you to my mentor as well as all of the individuals at SiriusXM for guiding me this summer, giving me lots of advice and making this a “sirius-ly” life-changing experience.

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