Alan Peters, a 4th Year UL Music, Media and Peformance Technology Student volunteered with ULFM and became the station manager, this is his experience:
'After being manager of ULFM, the experience has taught me a great amount of knowledge regarding ULFM’s operation and the engagement factor it has with UL students. The role of ULFM is vital for the development of student engagement and cooperation. Being a media platform for freedom of speech, it holds a very important position on the UL campus. After being the co-ordinator of that platform, it has given me lessons on how to use that platform better and improve overall communications between UL and its students. One of my duties was to schedule the semesters broadcasting schedule. When I performed this job, I had to think very carefully as to when to choose certain genres of shows at particular times. As current affairs should be placed in different slots as to music/chart shows. To choose this correctly made the listeners satisfied and felt the schedule accurately reflected your preferred times of genres.
This role of station manager also helped my academic journey, as it helped me gain contacts in the media industry which is where I plan to end up. Making these contacts shall help me greatly in the future. I learned different skills in this role comprised of, organizational skills and inter-personal skills, along with major development of communication skills. When as manager I had to communicate daily with ULFM members to answer technical questions and miscellaneous quires. At times it was tough to intertwine my academic studies and my ULFM commitments.
I volunteered as ULFM Station Manager because of my passion for radio. I had caught the journalist bug. I first became a member of the society in my first year (2014). I had then proceeded to become a ULFM committee member and worked from first year rep to secretary to technical manager and finally progressed to station manager. I feel I contributed a lot to the society, because I put my best effort into my work.
By the end of my term as manager I had completed the following I restored and updated the ULFM website - http://www.ulfm.ie/ , I Incorporated a telephone line for phone-in calls into studio. If I was back as manager of ULFM, the first area I would change is ULFM’s social media presence where the society is lacking. The station needs to regularly update its media platforms to reflect the current on goings happening in the society daily. To rectify this I would request that an Engagement officer position be on committee.
My duties as ULFM manager spanned a lot of areas, from training presenters to being head of the -outdoor production team. Some of the duties involved Managing the ULFM website, Recruit members at recruit drives and assign presenters, Schedule the broadcasting schedule for the semester, Train presenters for studio use, Delegate tasks to fellow committee members at the weekly committee meeting and to be on call for any technical difficulties that might arise during broadcasting.
After this voluntary experience, it has made me more open to volunteering in general. The appreciation you get from fellow members and committee members if warming and full of enthusiasm to keep doing what you do. For our Intervarsity Event, I had to work with our treasurer and events manager. Firstly, I sent the email to all the student college radios across the country and worked with those who responded. The biggest challenge we faced was how were we going to make sure that each station got equal amounts of air time fairly. How we solved this was assigning slots throughout the day that were restricted to certain genres. So, for an hour you would have a slot only on current affairs, another slot would have only gaming chat, etc. This worked out extremely well and everyone commended the day and really enjoyed themselves. It was a great event to be involved in. My communication skills have increased as much as my confidence. During my term I held meetings with Aramark (the campus restaurants) and the UL Careers Division. Where I was the main representative of ULFM. These meetings gave me a confidence boost so much that it allowed me to become a better marketer and PR spokesperson for the society. I believe my time at ULFM will have a great impact on my future career prospects. The skills which I gained and contacts which I have grown to know shall have an immense positive impact on my future plans. I shall be looking to enter the communications sector of the job spectrum and this experience shall be a great addition to my CV for interviews and projects. Also, I can’t wait to come back to UL in three years’ time and see ULFM in the centrepiece of the future new Student Centre. I have seen the plans and of course ULFM shall be front and centre in a professional radio station studio! It is my dream to see ULFM prosper and be embraced by all of UL, by both students and staff.' http://www.ulfm.ie/
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