In the pre-dawn hours of early morning while most students are still snoozing, Southeast Missouri State University student Lindsey Grojean has already started her work day as host and producer at KRCU, southeast Missouri’s NPR station broadcasting from Southeast’s campus.
Grojean, of New Hamburg, Missouri, is a senior majoring in music with a minor in mass communication. She is usually up by 5 a.m., grabbing a banana and a smoothie on the way to the radio station, a job she’s had for almost three years.
Her position allows her to combine her interests in reporting and music. When not hosting or preparing content for “Morning Edition,” she conducts interviews, reports on events, fills in for other hosts and many other projects. She hopes the experiences and skills she’s gained at her local station can lead her to new opportunities with NPR when she graduates.
On her responsibilities at KRCU:
When airing NPR’s news program “Morning Edition,” I am responsible for my own board operation, downloading audio for promos, checking the transmitters, and making sure everything goes smoothly. I mix NPR segments with local segments such as the weather and public service announcements.
I am also a day-turn reporter. I conduct interviews and attend press conferences and events that need to be covered. I record audio, bring it back to the station, and dissect it to the bare bones of the story. Sometimes, I’ll cover something that is audio-rich and turn it into an audio postcard or two-way interview. Reporting is the thing I thought I’d never do, but I did it because a staff member needed help with a series. She taught me how to use the audio software and the ethics of reporting. I picked it up quickly.
Sometimes, I fill in for KRCU hosts on “Afternoon Classics” and “Caffe Concerto.” That’s more stressful for me than “Morning Edition,” because it’s not as scripted, and I have to be flexible and have more personality. It’s fun, though. Being a music major, this job is more in my world than the journalism aspect. I like reporting, but my true love is music, and I get to ham it up on these shifts. I like to sneak in some Wynton Marsalis or Marian McPartland at the end of each hour. This is the side of radio I think people don’t talk about in mass communication, because you’ve got to have some background in music. I’m very lucky to have that position.
On what she has learned from being a KRCU producer and host:
You’ve got to be fantastic at learning on the job and be flexible. You might do a few things you didn’t sign up for. You might clean the office one day, sort an enormous pile of papers or help at an event. Agree to everything and do everything you can for the job, because your dependability and dedication are the qualities of the perfect employee. Doing so will also increase your love for the place, which, in turn, helps you to love your job.
I’ve also learned to be kind to everyone. A company sponsor will remember your smile, a local barista will appreciate your manners while they see your company logo on your jacket, and you will see and meet company supporters and sponsors out in public, without knowing who they are.
Your workplace’s success depends solely on your work output. Work very hard without the promise of praise, and you’ll go far.
On her favorite moments at KRCU:
Last year, I started a video that was a spoof off of “Saturday Night Live’s” “Delicious Dish,” and I called it “Drive Dish.” Host Barb Herbert and I played the parts of Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon. I did the scriptwriting and video editing, and it was great! Everyone loved it, and it definitely helped us during our past two fund drives.
Most of all, I’ve enjoyed the people I get to work with and the things I’ve gotten to see and do. I get to experience a real work environment with people who have been doing this for a long time. They are extremely supportive and happy to have me here. Also, NPR is such a cool affiliation to work for. On summer trips to the beach, I look for the closest NPR station. What a special way to connect the country! I love being a part of it. It’s also fun to be on-air each day.
On how Southeast has contributed to her success:
Southeast has been instrumental in teaching me that my particular path for the future is all mine. I can choose what classes I want, my major, and I can choose what I want to do. And people will be there to help and support. I have made wonderful friends in both study areas, and I’m sure they’ll last a lifetime. These people have inspired me and made me feel that I can do anything I set my mind to. They make me feel loved.
On her future goals:
Right now, I hope to build a hefty portfolio, build and strengthen more work relationships, and gain the skills I’ve not yet had the chance to develop thus far at KRCU.
I hope to get the confidence to apply for an NPR internship either next semester or right after I graduate. I love this area, and it would be hard to leave, but I hope to be able to step out of that comfort zone and open myself to more opportunities and ideas for the future. I’m definitely looking forward to applying for jobs that combine my interests of reporting and music.