Poundcake's Column: A Means To An End

A Means to an End

            When I was young, my mother always instilled in me that I could be anything I wanted to be as long as I was willing to work hard and sacrifice for it. In my young age, I knew a lot about hard work and sacrifice just by looking through my mother’s eyes. She was the single mother of two, working 12 hour shifts, and arriving home just in time to get us on the school bus. I never saw my mother do much of anything other than work to provide for my brother and me. That stayed with me into my adult years. Thanks to my mother, my work ethic and determination will rival even your company’s resident brown noser. That is all a part of my vision of success that I know when I hit, it will be oh so gratifying and well deserved.

            Now, when parents say you can be whatever you want in life with hard work and sacrifice, I’m sure higher education is included in the fine print somewhere, but let’s face it, its 2018 and there are no guarantees you will be successful or even hireable for that matter, with a college degree. Take me for instance: I’m 26, I’m two years out of college, I have a bachelor’s degree in Mass Media communications, and I am currently working in my field of study. One would think I have my shit together, right? WRONG. I have not a clue how this business sees me most of the time. I go to work every day knowing that this day could be my last. Job security? Nope. 401k, health, and dental? Nope. $60k a year salary?!?! HA! NOPE! One would think I was crazy for staying at a job that requires me to have another job and punch in 60+ hours a week, and those people would be correct. I am crazy…crazy motivated and inspired to make my dreams happen by any means necessary. I don’t expect people to understand my grind, and frankly, I hope to keep it that way, as it’s a lot less competition for me.  The world doesn’t owe you anything because of a piece of paper. The diploma is just your ticket, now get off your ass and get on the ride.

            Most students don’t realize that your journey doesn’t have to begin after college. I got my big break and started working for the show at the start of my senior year of college. I was working full time on a major station before I even received my diploma (see, it’s not all about the piece of paper). But I got the job because I interned my junior year and I made hella sacrifices to get that damn internship. I technically, was too late to apply that semester, but with a little finesse and fortitude, I convinced the director to let me slide by. I also postponed a required course needed for graduation in order to take that internship, pushing me back an entire semester; I didn’t care, I wanted it. Last thing I sacrificed was my initial introduction into my craft; my college radio station, where I first fell in love with the mic. But, alas, I knew it wouldn’t last forever and the tools I learned prepared me in my young & budding career, and I knew I would come back tell them all what it was like on the other side, the REAL WORLD.

Six months later it all paid off; besides the fact that I was a super senior, I also was in the complete minority of students who found a career in their field of study before they graduated. In the words of one of my favorite radio personalities, Charlemagne Tha God, “People don’t recognize a great opportunity unless there’s a paycheck attached to it.” For me it wasn’t about the money at the time it was about making a name for myself in this industry. I fully believe that if you have the talent, it is up to you make that talent known by any means necessary (LEGALLY, of course.) If you want to be a singer, and you have to work two dead end jobs to pay for studio time, do it. If you want to be an actress, and you have to be a crew hand, producer, & actress, go for it. Lastly, if you’re a student studying media and you’re not actively searching for an internship, you’re already behind the eight ball. Good internships are hard to find but they’re not impossible. It will be long hours, poor pay, lack of sleep & social life, and you’ll begin to question why you got into this industry in the first place, but after you’re done paying your dues is when life gets great and the means will be worth it in the end.

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