Case study

Radio content editor — Sofia Rizzi

Sofia's music degree has helped her develop the skills and knowledge to work across two radio stations. Find out how her work experience played a vital role in securing her roles.

How did you get your job?

I studied for a BMus Music at Cardiff University. I actually stumbled upon my job after graduating, although I always wanted to work at this particular radio station. I got in touch with the station asking for work experience and they agreed, but also said that there was a job opening if I wanted to apply. The job - working across two radio stations - was perfect for my music taste and education, so now I get to work on the two genres of music I'm most passionate about.

What's a typical working day like?

As I work across two stations, there's plenty of variety - you could be interviewing someone in the morning, filming a musician session in the afternoon, and fitting in some writing and on-air scheduling in between. I work across online and on-air with a variety of great people.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The variety of things I get to do is fantastic, plus the people around me are very open to teaching me if I'd like to learn more about something. For example, I'm now involved in the podcasts that the station produces - it's something I've always been interested in doing, but now I have the opportunity to do so.

The job is always teaching me new things - you can never get complacent, and this makes me a better worker.

What are the challenges?

Radio never stops, so the workload can be relentless at times. Dropping the ball can have serious implications, so you have to be 'on it' at all times. The hours aren't often a simple 9am to 5pm, so you have to be willing to work longer hours and some weekends/late nights to get the job done.

You're also working with a wide range of people. This takes tact and good social skills, to be efficient in your work and remain personable.

How relevant is your degree?

A knowledge and understanding of classical music is essential for my work, and so in this sense music education has been very useful. My university course also offered a Business of Music module, which gave me some insight into the working world before I had to venture out there.

As part of my course I did a work placement in artist management, and although I didn't end up following this path, it was my first job in the industry after graduating which became an invaluable foot in the door.

Where do you hope to be in five years?

I love working across online and on-air, but I'd like to get more experience and responsibilities with on-air music programming, and hopefully one day producing. Podcasting is another exciting avenue I'd like to explore further.

What advice can you give to others?

  • Get as much experience as possible - get out there. There's no better way to learn than by getting hands-on experience.
  • Always be enthusiastic and ready to do any job - there are no small jobs. You might not want to do everything you're asked to do, but think of the bigger picture and of your long-term goals.
  • Learn to streamline your workload and work efficiently. Prioritise your duties and have a system in place so that the workload doesn't overwhelm you.

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