Station as learning environment

KSPU gives vital career experience outside classroom

Hannah Flores, Staff Reporter

Walking into the KSPU station, there is an energy of excitement as the staff discusses plans for their upcoming winter quarter event. The walls are decorated with countless band posters, CDs and vinyl records. 

The staff is hard at work, brainstorming names for the event and it is clear from this conversation that they are passionate about the work they are doing. 

KSPU’s staff-members Michael Miller, Sarah Dirckx, Peter Olthoff, Analyn Grasz and Jack Wilsie sit gathered around the desk. These are just a few of the members who bring the station to life. 

The desk is a central part of the room that holds the equipment: a computer with a web browser open to Spotify and a microphone used to pick up the conversations of the various podcasts that are broadcast from the station. 

The KSPU staff not only provides other students with a platform, but the staff also gains practical experience that is applicable for their future careers.

“The main goal at KSPU is to provide students with a platform and there are many ways to get involved,” Miller said. “With the process of creating our shows, there is a lot we can learn about running the station as well as making other connections in the music industry.” 

Grasz’s main inspiration for joining the KSPU team was that the opportunity aligned with her passion for music and her desire to connect with the local Seattle music scene. 

“I have always loved music and concerts. One of the things I was most excited for when moving to Seattle was the opportunity to go to more concerts and experience the musical culture in the city,” Grasz said.

 With the opportunities offered through KSPU, she now spends her time doing that. 

In Grasz’s previous role as the station’s event planner, she worked to organize events that showcased both Seattle and SPU musicians.

“It was really cool to have the experience of working with different artists to bring them together for our events,” Grasz said. 

Almost everyone on staff shares a passion for the music industry and hopes to work with music in some capacity in their future careers, whether or not that is directly or indirectly.

“Being able to write for the blog has given me a great creative outlet, and aligns well with my career path,” Dirckx said. 

Dirckx hopes to eventually enter the marketing field.

“Writing for the blog has not only given me freedom but it has allowed me to develop and apply the skills I’m learning as a marketing major to better prepare me for my career,” Dirckx said. 

For others at KSPU, their roles serve as a way to build connections directly in the music industry. 

Wilsie said that his role is particularly exciting because it allows him to work with record labels. 

“The labels work with KSPU and send songs that are currently charting well. From there, we choose what music is played for the stream” Wilsie said.

He explained that he hopes to follow a career path in radio, which makes his role at KSPU a beneficial way to get started making connections in the industry. 

The station receives a diverse selection of music from any genre or era. Working with the labels gives them an experience that is similar to those of professional radio stations with more flexibility. 

 “We usually have a set stream, but we do have the freedom to play what we want if we choose to,” Grasz said. 

Along with the music stream, KSPU also plays a variety of podcasts giving the students an opportunity to build experience in creating shows. 

“Jack and I actually have a show together, it’s a lot of fun. We usually come in and talk about whatever is on our minds,” Olthoff shared. 

This freedom to both learn and have the flexibility to create what they want was echoed by Miller. 

“One of the cool things about KSPU is that if other students have ideas for podcasts, they can bring them to the station and we’ll play them as well,” Miller said. 

Miller, who plans to work in marketing, said that his participation, like the others’, has provided him with an outlet to create, while also being a valuable experience for his future. 

“My position as station manager has given me a great creative outlet as well as provided me with the necessary experience that I can use in the future.” 

To get involved in KSPU email [email protected] and check KSPU’s Engage page for future events.