By: Shawna Sovie
My name is Shawna Sovie and I graduated from the Loyalist College Radio Broadcasting program in 2012. I now work in production and on air at CJCD MIX 100 in Yellowknife, NWT. Here’s my story.
When I enrolled at Loyalist, I was only 17 years old and happy to live at home in Marmora and drive to class each day. The Radio Broadcasting program was packed with opportunities for me. First and foremost there is a radio station on campus. During our first year we polished our newly acquired skills in a practice station and during our second year we were doing the real thing with 91X, the College station. The production studios are better than those you find in many radio stations and the faculty is amazing.
During the final semester of the second year we were required to do a one-month internship. A week before I was ready to start, my professor told our class about a job in Yellowknife. The program director at the station was a Loyalist graduate, Jay Boast. I sent off my résumé, a few demos and some information about myself, never dreaming I’d get an immediate response. The next day Jay called, said my résumé and demo were amazing and that they wanted to arrange an interview with himself and Eileen Dent, the General Manager. The next thing I knew, I was offered the job. My professor agreed to let me use the job as my internship, so I was able to graduate. When the rest of my classmates were crossing the stage at the College to receive their diplomas, I was in Yellowknife, watching them online.
Today a typical day for me is to be at the station by 8 a.m. I sit at my computer and prepare my show for the day. Then I’m on air from 9 a.m. until 12 Noon, followed by production until 5 p.m.
While in College, I balanced two jobs and school work, often working late into the night and then up for class by 8 a.m. I was a Production Manager of a team of producers at 91X, the College station, and a student representative on the College Board of Directors. My plate was full but it taught me to handle a number of projects at the same time. Now I go to work knowing that each day will be different and I consider it the experience of a lifetime. I’m 5,000 miles from my family and friends yet I love where I am and what I’m doing.
Yellowknife is a beautiful community, made up of two seasons – summer, when the sun is up all day long, and winter, the exact opposite with only five hours of daylight on the shortest day of the year. The people are very welcoming. One of the radio listeners gave me a parka when winter arrived; that woman’s kindness got me through the winter.
Carpe Diem is my life motto and I seize every opportunity that comes my way. I know that I will not be in Yellowknife forever, but what a great place to start. My dream is to travel across Canada, meeting all sorts of people. My radio broadcasting career can make that happen. I love what I do.
The Radio Broadcasting program follows a hands-on approach in training students for careers in radio broadcasting. Students operate two broadcast properties at Loyalist College: CJLX-FM (91X), a licensed community-College radio station that serves the local region, and Hot Hits Loyalist College’s Internet station. Both are equipped with the latest digital automation system, production equipment, and music scheduling software. Students finish the program in a four-week industry internship. For information regarding the Radio Broadcasting program, contact Professor Steve Bolton at firstname.lastname@example.org.