Alumnus, Liam Lewis, studied Commercial Music Production and Radio Production at the University’s Warrington Campus. Liam was determined to begin a career in radio after graduating in 2015 and landed his dream job after emailing his local radio station, Chorley FM, to enquire about work opportunities. In this week’s blog, he tells us more about his career and offers some advice…
“I was never the best student, the smartest or most talented. But I had a passion to entertain. I constantly listened to the radio and dreamed of presenting my own show. But I had no idea how to get into the industry… Where do you go to get a job at Radio 1?!
“So I decided to make myself a CV and cover letter – just like you would do with any normal job. I sent it out to local radio stations; every single one I could find. Paid or unpaid, I was going to do it! Even if it was the graveyard shift, or middle of the day, I didn’t care. I was going for it!
“Lots of stations never responded, and I did get some replies rejecting my application completely, but I persevered. I actually had some stations respond and ask me to pay them £5,000 so they could ‘train me’ – I don’t think so!
“All I needed was one YES, and that yes came from Chorley FM. They asked me to come in for an informal chat so they could see what type of person I am. I dressed up smart and I guess I won them over, because I signed a contract and started co-presenting on Wednesday mornings!
“I worked hard to make sure I established myself and showed them that I was reliable, trustworthy and capable. Before long, I was offered my own show The Mid-Morning Show with Liam Lewis. I was elated!
“I am so grateful to have this opportunity. I honestly believe if you have a dream, just go for it! Who cares if someone laughs or thinks it’s stupid?! It’s your life! So do what you want to do!
“Here are some tips, which I believe will help you achieve your dream career…
“Be nice – being nice and having good manners will serve you well, particularly in the radio industry. You want to leave a good impression with people that you work with, and be remembered as a nice person, not a diva!
“Connect – make connections with everyone: people you work with, fellow presenters, people from the radio industry on social media… You never know when you may need to call upon one of those people. They could help you, give you hints or opportunities in the future.
“Be professional – always be professional, be on time, and be polite!
“Say yes – if they need someone to cover a show, say yes. If they need help, or anything last minute say yes. Being on radio isn’t a typical 9-5 job, every show is different. You will encounter weird and wonderful situations often, but go with it! Be available and willing to learn.
“Work hard – if you are lucky enough to get a job in radio, don’t ever think for a second that you are irreplaceable. There are people who will take your job in a heartbeat. Always work your hardest and put your all into the show. You don’t just go into the studio, sit down, and talk. There are hours of research and studying that goes into each show. I still read books about radio to this day, and I’m always looking into the latest music, hot topics and gossip. Spend time listening to every station you can and learn.
“Be yourself – don’t be fake! There is already a Scott Mills and a Nick Grimshaw. The world doesn’t need another. Be unique and real. Don’t copy and put on a fake persona, find your own way of doing things.
“Know your industry – keep up to date with everything that is going on in the industry – who won what awards this month? Are there any new stations or big shifts within the industry?”
Check out Liam’s Vlog below…
You can view more of Liam’s radio vlogs here.
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