Internship catapults student to dream job

“Chris and the Crew’s” Dave McKay, Wendy McClure, Adam Grimanis, Phonechick Tiffany Pukas and Chris Rollins attend the 94.5 WPST Pop Fest. Pukas and Rollins are Rider alumnae.

 

By Nicole Cortese

During the morning commute, listeners around the Philadelphia and Central Jersey areas tune into 94.5 WPST, where they hear Chris and the Crew’s morning show featuring Chris Rollins, Dave McKay, Wendy McClure, Phonechick Tiffany Pukas and Adam Grimanis.

Grimanis, a Rider alum who graduated in 2008 with a degree in radio and television, was able to accomplish his career goals and get a job in the field he always envisioned himself in, eventually becoming an on-air DJ. Knowing that he always wanted to be involved in the music industry, Grimanis decided to go to Rider two years before graduating from high school.

“My brother went to Rider, and after going to an open house, I knew right away that I wanted to do communication in TV and radio,” Grimanis said. “At first I wanted to be a VJ, and that’s why I chose Rider because they had a strong TV and radio program.”

He got his first internship at WPST while attending Rider. That led him to the job he holds today.

“Dr. Rick Turner [former internship director] had a great relationship with PST, and it was something I wanted to do anyway,” Grimanis said. “I got my first internship, and that kind of opened up the door and eventually led me back into it later.”

Grimanis recalls how a simple classroom assignment taught him a lesson that he has carried with him over the years.

“Dr. Barry Janes [professor of communication] had us do a project in one of his radio/TV classes where we had to reach out to different people and learn how to network,” Grimanis said. “We learned that you could not be scared to call someone up and kind of ask for a job.”

Like many recent graduates, he faced various challenges while attempting to find a steady career during his transition into the field.

“There were huge obstacles after graduating,” he said. “I would say communication has very popular jobs and they borderline with the entertainment industry, so it is harder to break into. It took me two years to get a full-time job. I wanted to work for a record label, but they were not getting back to me because they were based in New York, and you have to go where the work is.”

Janes agrees that the types of entry- level jobs are changing, but the opportunities are still there.

“I really think for every opportunity taken away by technology, two or three new opportunities are created,” Janes said. “Where at one time it took a $500,000 TV studio to create programming, technology has made it possible for students to create their own programs and projects for much, much less.”

With much perseverance, Grimanis managed to get a full-time job in the field he loved, working various positions while on his ongoing job search.

“I continued to intern while I was off from school,” he said. “I was an online marketer for independent artists, then I interned at an independent music label called Downtown Records. I finally got a job at PST as the traffic director who schedules the commercials.”

Grimanis credits his involvement at Rider, inside and outside of the classroom, as greatly impacting his overall college experience and helping him land a job in the field.

“The times I spent at the radio station were some of the best experiences because that’s where I was able to meet a lot of friends,” Grimanis said. “I actually got my first intro to radio and was able to be comfortable on air. I was the traffic director there, but it was way different than PST.”

He always had a passion for the music industry, and believes that radio is a good stepping stone to bring him wherever he decides to go next.

“If I stick with radio, I would still like to be on a morning show; I have goals to do voiceover work,” Grimanis said. “It wouldn’t be bad to make a transition into TV as an on-air personality. I think it would be a lot of fun. I feel like the possibilities are endless.”

Grimanis offers advice for students pursuing a career in this competitive field.

“It can be very discouraging, but don’t give up,” he said. “Sometimes things happen in the right place, right time, but you have to let people know that you want to do something, and you want to show initiative that you’re willing and able to do it. Apply for everything, and focus on one thing because you can get lost, especially in TV and radio. Do as much as you can while you’re at Rider and save all your work, because it can be used in a future portfolio or demo that will hopefully help you land your dream job.”

 

Published in the 10/30/13 edition.

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