WBAA Made Me Famous
When I came to Purdue, I was one kid out of about 40,000. Now, half of the state seems to have my phone number.
I’m the Senior News Intern at WBAA and a freshman at Purdue University, majoring in mass communication. My boss, Stan, came into one of my communication classes last semester and started talking about internships. So, I emailed, interviewed, accepted the position. Parents were very proud, I love what I do here, everything’s great.
Then I started getting calls.
First, it was someone from the University who wanted to put me in the school’s video newsletter. They said they were impressed by my work at the station and asked to set up an interview. I did the video, parents were very proud.
But I don’t walk around the University telling the higher-up administration that I work here. I’m very proud that I work here, I tell pretty much everyone I meet, but I really didn’t expect the head of the communication department to know that. It was still exciting, and I thought it was a cool, once-in-a-while things I got lucky on.
Then, I was interviewed for the alumni newsletter. Then, it was, “Can we put you on admissions materials?” Then, it was, “Will you talk to my kid about Purdue?”
I did talk to her kid about Purdue, because apparently to my high school adviser, I am now a Purdue ambassador. I tried to recruit her, but she’s an engineering major. Typical.
Then, I was in class when my professor confessed he’s WBAA’s number one fan.
Meanwhile, I have sources all over Indiana (and recently, Arkansas) calling me back about interviews I needed hours earlier. My mom used to tell us not to answer the phone if we don’t recognize their number, but now it’s part of my job.
Still, I’m too flattered to really worry about all the things the University probably knows about me.
I honestly really enjoyed the attention all because I love, love, love talking about the news. My close friends back home won’t even look at the video or ask me about it because they’ve already heard my “news” speech hundreds of times.
The first thing people usually ask me when they’re doing an interview is, “Why did you come to Purdue?”
I get that one a lot, being from Georgia (the follow-up is usually, “So how did you like your first winter?” I didn’t).
Next, they ask me why I wanted to work at the station.
THAT’S my favorite. I want to work here because I think that we’re doing something really important here. The people here care about the truth so much we’ll go to a Third House meeting at 7 a.m. on a Saturday just to get an interview done. Is it fun to get up that early? Absolutely not. But knowing that your story got to at least one person who cared about what you wrote about is definitely worth it.
I also like it here because it’s not biased. Hopefully you can tell in the writing, because you can definitely tell it at the office. I’ve been working here for almost eight months and I couldn’t tell you any of my co-worker’s political views. On anything. And I really think that shows.
I really, really want more people to care, and if I have to do a million videos or letters, I doubt I’ll get tired of telling people about this place.