Job Shadow – Midwest Family Broadcasting (Updated)

By: Kailey Collar

After spending quite a bit of time listening to and observing writers for different newspapers, I wanted to experience another aspect of journalism: broadcasting. A radio broadcasting building has several different studios, and each studio is broadcasting a different genre. In the same hallway, studios can range from broadcasting pop music, to sports, to oldies. This exact scene is what I got to see when I got the opportunity to spend a few hours at the Midwest Family Broadcasting building in Altoona on Friday, February 23rd.

In his studio, Dan Kasper has sports accessories galore. He runs “The Morning Locker Room” on Sports Talk 105.1, which runs from 6 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. This four hour show didn’t happen overnight, however. Kasper’s sports broadcasting career started out with an every other day two-minute segment, and now he has his own four-hour show, five days a week. What’s Kasper’s advice on job seeking?

I had the privilege of being in-studio with Kasper while he was on the air and the experience was fascinating. For the four hours I was job shadowing Kasper, I learned all about his studio set-up. Kasper has many in-studio features including a phone that listeners can dial in to, a whiteboard that shows what topics are going to be discussed at what time, and Kasper keeps his phone near him so he can stay updated in the sports world via social media and websites such as ESPN. He also has one computer in front of him specifically for ads and sponsors that are mentioned before and after commercial breaks. Whenever there was a commercial break from the show, that didn’t necessarily mean “down-time” for the broadcasters. During commercials, often times Kasper had to go into other studios to give a sports report. Although some parts of the morning are hectic, what isn’t hectic is the show itself. It feels “just like a regular conversation” as I mentioned when Kasper gave me the opportunity to talk on the air.

Kasper began his college career at UW-Barron County where he then transferred to UW-Wood County, and then finished off his schooling at UW-Eau Claire. Before becoming a sports broadcaster, Kasper worked as the sports director at the Wisconsin Rapids YMCA. Now, Kasper gets to do what he loves five days a week and experiences opportunities he never thought would be possible. He’s written a book about the Packers titled, “The Green Bay Packers Ultimate Fan Handbook” and he’s met a few famous sports figures, including people he idolized growing up.

Before my job shadow, I had no idea what broadcasting was like, but now I’ve fallen in love with the profession because of how laid back, fun, and exhilarating being a sports broadcaster is. Kasper’s passion for sports and his career made this job shadow an amazing experience I will never forget.

Dan Kasper

Dan Kasper broadcasts his sports talk show “The Morning Locker Room”.

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Job Shadow- Volume One (updated)

When most people think of journalism, they may envision a busy newsroom packed with editors frantically typing away at their keyboards, a scene of a recent fire filled with various reporters searching for victims to interview, or a politician being bombarded after a scandal. Volume One takes a different approach. With rustic brick walls, assorted plant species, and a comfortable sitting area, it could be mistaken for someone’s home. And home, coincidentally, is at the root of what it strives for.

Sitting in a small room filled with an abundance of books and old cameras, Lauren Fisher, the associate editor at Volume One, and I discussed our personal journalistic endeavors. Graduating from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, her journalistic roots extend from her high school career. Unhappy with her high school’s newspaper, she began her own underground publication She continued her ventures into college, where she joined the school’s newspaper, obtaining positions, such as layout editor and editor in chief.

After moving to Eau Claire with her husband, she struggled to find a job that personally suited her. One of her first professional endeavors was managing a photo studio at the Walmart. Later, she worked at Leader-Telegram in advertising. After applying nearly four times, she obtained the associate editor position at Volume One.

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Lauren Fisher researching local laundromats.

Being the associate editor comes with various responsibilities. Fisher carries out duties, such as editing submissions and finding new and interesting stories to write about, all while keeping the focus entirely on the Chippewa Valley area. During the job shadow, Fisher was researching local Laundromats, creating an excel spread of the services, hours, addresses, and contact information of the sites.

“Since I’ve been here, Volume One has been expanding itself more in order to provide more for the community,” Fisher said.

Sitting at the corner of Dewey and Galloway Street in Downtown Eau Claire, the Volume One headquarters is a square-shaped brick building with teal doors and window awnings. Reporting culture and entertainment in the local area is only a fragment of its work in the Chippewa Valley. From instituting the Vanguard awards, which recognize members who have made an impact in the area, to opening a gallery to showcase local art, Volume One keeps the community at the core of everything they do.

Nearly every cover of the magazine is a work of art produced by a local artist. Several articles within the magazine are submissions from the community. Numerous pages are dedicated to events happening in the community, ranging from food and drink to art and recreation.

In the process of finding stories to write about, it’s all about connections. Leads, for the most part, are provided from community members. Whether a new business plans to open, or a famous singer has an upcoming performance, Volume One always lets residents know.

“It [Volume One] gives voice to and recognizes artistic endeavors, leadership endeavors, community involvement; it encourages people to grow where they’re planted.”

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Preparing students for the “age of the gig”

By Kinsey Johnson

NPR’s lead education blogger speaks of the changes in today’s increasingly priced higher education, and the impacts choices after college can have on a planetary level.

Anya Kamenetz spoke optimistically to her audience of about 150 students and locals on March 6 in UW-Eau Claire’s Schofield Auditorium. Kamenetz discussed the shift in working Americans from the “age of the job to the age of the gig,” stating that the average worker in America now has only been in their job for about four years. With projects and income becoming more unpredictable for the average worker, the pressure to pay off student loans rises as well.

Kamenetz is a New York City writer and graduate from Yale University. She’s been the lead education blogger at NPR since 2014 and has published several books regarding education. Her forum was revolved around “Generation Debt,” a book Kamenetz published 12 years ago at age 25.  

“We have to be really fiercely optimistic and hopeful,” Kamenetz said. “You have to actively create and imagine a future you do want.” Kamenetz spoke positively about the idea of branching out after college and jumping from “gig” to “gig.”

Allison Blechinger was an audience member at the forum and is a junior at UW-Eau Claire majoring in psychology. “I just thought it was really interesting that she brought up the fact it’s more and more common for people to change their jobs often, ” Blechinger said. “It was surprisingly hopeful, because I don’t really know what I want to do after I graduate yet.”

Kamenetz spoke liberally of the rise in college tuition, stating that costs of universities can continue to increase because people can continue to take out loans for it, inevitably increasing student debt. “We have this problem on a personal level, we have it on a national level. And there’s even a planetary level,” Kamenetz said, referring to global warming. She urged her audience to consider the impact of the work that they are doing or are becoming educated to do. “[your jobs] fit into an ecosystem and a vision,” Kamenetz said. She spoke of the society’s need for change as she reminded her audience to think of the “bigger picture impact.”

Charles Johnson was another audience member at the forum, as well as a sophomore at UW-Eau Claire double majoring in journalism and political science. “I loved the way she spoke about finding a job that can actually make a difference in our society,” Johnson said. “It made me really think about why I’m studying political science and how I want to better the world with it.”

Kamenetz spoke strongly about her faith and trust in newer generations, hopeful that young people will take a stand against some of the policies and patterns in current American society. “We don’t take no for an answer,” Kamenetz said.

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Kamenetz speaks optimistically to her audience of about 150 students and locals of the Eau Claire area on Tuesday. 

 

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Job Shadow: Middle School Special Education Teacher.

By: Erin Gietman

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Rachel Fisher interacting with a student one-on-one. ©Erin Gietman 2018.

Teachers today undoubtedly have stressful jobs, but it is also a career that can be very rewarding. When you add students with disabilities into the mix, their jobs can be even tougher, but sometimes equally more gratifying.

Rachel Fisher, a middle school special education teacher in the severely intellectually disabled class at James Madison Middle School in Appleton, Wis, says although her job can be a challenge some days, there is nothing else she would rather be doing.

Fisher graduated from UW-Stout in 2000 earning a degree in Vocational Rehabilitation with a concentration in teaching mild to moderate cognitive disabilities in grades 6 through 12. “Intellectually disabled” is the new term used to describe individuals with severe cognitive disabilities, and while it is better than other language often used to describe the kids she teaches, she feels it is more derogatory  than the formerly used “cognitively disabled”.

“We are so excited when we see them make the smallest accomplishments after many instances of modeling how to do something,” Fisher says. Besides feeling proud of their accomplishments she has also learned patience, persistence, and acceptance. Above all she has learned to see the person they are and not their disability.

It is obvious that Fisher loves not only her job, but the kids she teaches. It is important to spread awareness that people are more than just their disability, and allow the world to see these kids the way she sees them.

Fisher says her favorite part of her job is coming to work every day and making connections with her students. Being able to find students strengths and getting to know their personalities allows her to teach them in a way that suits their individual needs. Her classroom consists of seven kids, 2 full-time para-professionals who assist Fisher in the classroom, and another part-time para-professional.

Shadowing Fisher for the day gave me a new perspective on life, and the different struggles everybody faces. Although these kids are labeled intellectually disabled they are really just like most other middle school kids I met that day. Each with their own personality, likes and dislikes. It takes an incredibly strong person to be able to do this job every day, and Fisher is just one example of the many great teachers making a difference in the education system.

 

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Job Shadow

By Dylan Genrich

For my Job shadow I wanted to shadow someone in the journalism business, ideally a reporter or editor. I was very hopeful when I reached out to Eau Claire’s newspaper, Leader Telegram, asking whether it would be possible to job shadow someone from their office. To my delight I got a response from reporter Lauren French, Leader Telegram’s Education Reporter. She agreed to let me job shadow her one morning and I got the opportunity to see some of her roles in the office.

First she showed me how she managed the Facebook account for Leader Telegram. She did this by selecting stories that were written and posting them to Facebook on a timer. French explained that there were certain times during the day when social media traffic on Leader Telegram’s social media accounts spiked, usually in the mornings and late in the afternoon. By setting the stories to be published on a timer, she made sure that there was a steady stream of news coverage throughout the day.

Afterwards, I got to observe French putting together the senior page for the upcoming paper, which posed some unique challenges. One was finding news stories to put in the paper that related to the seniors. French said that given enough time, she would usually go and write a new story for the paper, but sadly, she didn’t have the time that week to seek one out. She then had to turn to a news wire for stories. She explained that a news wire was an aggregate of news stories from many different news publications.

Using the news wire, French could find stories by other papers for use at the Leader Telegram, within certain limitations.

Then French provided some tips for laying out the paper, such as smaller stories that used up less columns being at the top of the page, and centered to give the paper a balanced look. She also explained the importance of sub-headings for the particularly long stories, and how they helped break up a news story into smaller, more digestible chunks. Finally she kerned the lines of the story until the entire story fit into the allotted space, and the mock-up for the page was done.

I think I learned a lot during this job shadow about the importance of social media in the news, and how journalists have many tricks up their sleeves for designing page layouts. Seeing the process in action was invaluable to me, and I look forward to utilizing some of the tricks I learned in the future.

Interview with Lauren French: https://soundcloud.com/user-288584833/lauren-french-interview

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Reporter Lauren French busy at Leader Telegram

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Job Shadow: Andy and Rachael Dick, Hill- Properties Inc.

By: Meagan Weber

As a nursing major, I have job shadowed many different medical-field related jobs, so for this project I decided to do something a little different. That brought me to Andy and Rachael Dick, a couple with their own real-estate company, Hill-Properties Inc., based out of St. Paul, Minnesota.

I drove last weekend to the Dicks’ 10-bedroom mansion they are currently flipping together.  They graciously gave me a short tour of the home, where I was able to capture some important information about the two of them.

The couple has known each other for three years and started their real-estate business around the same time.  Rachael attended the University of Minnesota, and graduated with a degree in business and marketing, whereas Andy graduated from Marquette University with a degree in biomedical engineering.

Straight out of college Andy and his brother decided to start their own business called “Andy and Steve’s Lawn and Landscape.” Andy says he got bored with his landscaping business and wanted to move on, so he established Hill-Properties Inc., where Rachael and Andy buy, remodel and rent short-and long-term rentals.  I was curious as to why they got into the real estate business. “We weren’t happy with the jobs we held at the time we met, so we decided to try real estate and we have been in love with flipping houses ever since” said Rachael.

Andy added in saying there seems to be a stereotype for young college students that they shouldn’t try things beyond their major, but he continued stating, “by truly stepping out of your comfort zone or more simply, finding something you love to do it will make life that much more enjoyable and rewarding.”

In a normal day at work, Andy and his construction team build, demolish and stage houses or apartments for renters and buyers, while Rachael stays back at the house and deals with the management side of things, such as hiring the cleaning crews, evicting renters that misuse the properties and helping book houses out.

Not only do Andy and Rachael find houses to turn into rental properties, they have spent a good amount of time flipping houses as well.  Together, they have flipped and sold 2 houses in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area. Rachael says what she enjoys most about the job is welcoming people from out of state, giving them recommendations on things to do and building lasting relationships with a variety of people.

Spending the day with Andy and Rachael gave me hope for my future. The Dicks taught me that no matter what I end up doing in life I should never stop chasing my dreams and trying new things. I walked away with the valuable lesson that stepping out of your comfort zone and building relationships is the key to success.

 

Rachael Dick in Downtown Saint Paul ©Meagan Weber 2018

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Top photo: kitchen after remodel, Bottom photo: kitchen before the remodel ©Rachael Dick 2016

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Job Shadow – Dylan Tinberg

A young, ambitious, and truly successful employee like Dylan Tinberg is in fact not a common sight. 20-year old full-time, cross-trained manager at Metropolis, one of Eau Claire’s best relieved the four-star resort, a student of the month at Chippewa Valley Technical Collage with aspiration to soon transfer to University of Wisconsin – Stout where he hopes to acquire a degree in his beloved field of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Although, Tinberg is primarily a hotel manager he is cross-trained, which means he is also qualified to perform many duties not listed in his original job description. That includes overseeing the guest accommodations as well as directly connected to them ball and conference rooms, a pub, Chaos waterpark, and Action City, which includes Wisconsin’s largest trampoline park, a zip line, multiple go-cart tracks, a mini golf course, a game arcade, and its newest addition – the virtual reality platform. “Metropolis is not an ordinary hotel,” he explained.

The casual leadership style practiced by Tinberg is certainly one of the reasons the atmosphere at Metropolis is relaxed and employees’ morale stay high, as despite being one of the highest ranged managers in the hotel he never confines himself to just office work. He is able to delegate both tasks as well as responsibilities while not abusing his power, instead, whenever possible, he joins the workforce himself. “On a busy night I like to throw an apron on and fry burgers side by side with my cooks,” he admitted.

Tinberg’s outstanding work and dedication were recognized quickly by upper management as he has been awarded the title of Employee of the Moth by the end of his very first week at Metropolis Resort. He was promoted soon after that and, with a little or no delay, honored as the Manager of the Month.

Nevertheless, Tinberg does not take credit for his multiple accomplishments at Metropolis. He is convinced he could not have done any of the things he is applauded for if the culture of the company was different. At Metropolis all employees are encouraged to innovate and share their ideas, “They listen to us,” Tinberg said, “that’s why it all works.”

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