JOB BLOG // Alumni Profile: Maggie Tweedie

You can’t be under 26 forever.

When SYNners get too old to volunteer, a lot of them go on to work in the media, taking with them all the skills SYN has instilled in them.

SYN alumni, Maggie Tweedie, volunteered on Art Smitten and recorded her own podcast. These days Maggie is the breakfast host at RadioActive.fm in Wellington, New Zealand.

Read more about Maggie here:

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Have you been to uni? What did you study?

I studied at Bachelor of Communication majoring in expressive arts and minoring in Journalism at Massey University in Wellington, NZ.

Did you do any internships? How valuable were these in finding a job?

I did four internships. The first was with a youth charity writing newsletters and mentoring teens. The second was at a commercial radio station reading weather, shadowing industry professionals and interviewing bands. The third was spent working for a Maori theatre company as a Communications Advisor. In my fourth internship I volunteered for Radioactive for two years as a DJ.

What did you do at SYN?

I assisted with office administration and contributed a couple of interviews on Art Smitten. I also recorded an (unreleased) podcast series called The Conscious Woman.

What are you doing now? Where are you working? How did you get your job?

I am the breakfast host at RadioActive.fm in Wellington, New Zealand.
Prior to getting my job, I volunteered for 2-3 shows per week, every week for 12 months. This earned me technical skills and confidence interviewing bands.
I was asked to apply for the breakfast job when I lived in Melbourne. I actually moved back to NZ to take it because I knew it would be a fantastic and very rare opportunity to get stuck in to community radio in NZ’s capital city.
What does a typical day look like for you?

I wake up at 5.30 am and bike or drive to work (depending on weather). I’m in studio by 6.15 am to begin prepping the news bulletin and I’m live on air from 7am-10am. I select the music, conduct interviews and produce the activity guide.

What made you want to pursue radio over other mediums?

I truly love story telling and have always found my ability to retain information is better if it comes from an audible source. Radio wasn’t always something I knew I wanted to do, until a teacher in my 7th form told a friend and I we should pursue broadcasting. This rattled about in my head for a while until I finally filled out the volunteer application form.

You’re having coffee with a SYN volunteer who wants to do what you’re doing. What advice would you give them?

Firstly I would order a coconut milk latte (which I would almost shun myself for but they are so good)! Now the advice ….
Be persistent, don’t give up on broadcasting. Everyone will tell you that you will be underpaid, that it’s cut throat and too hard to get into, and it is! It’s also so much more than that. I’m so lucky to be doing I job I adore despite all of that fluff! An internship can be a great opportunity but only if you know your worth. Don’t stick it out in a place that offers you the world before they ask you to prove yourself; that’s simply too good to be true.
You’re only as good as you are prepared. This was advice I received from a valuable mentor  and still have to take this into account every day.
Involve others and collaborate more, be open to change and listen!
Seek advice and be hungry for more knowledge, look for mentors and for people who have that job you want. Often media industry folk are happy to extend a hand of advice, you just have to ask.

Keep volunteering until you get paid because sometimes it’s the only way to get your feet in that door. If you’re super passionate, then giving up your time won’t be a  regret.

Listen to Maggie from 7am-10am every Monday-Friday via the RadioActive.fm website.

Have a job application you want proofread? Got an idea you want covered here? Are you a SYN alumni who wants to give back? The Job Blog is updated monthly and you can get in touch with the Content Manager at content @ syn.org.au with any ideas.