20something profile: Caitlin
My name is Caitlin Fry, and I graduated from the University of Iowa in December 2012 with degrees in journalism and mass communication, and history. I studied journalism because I have always been an avid reader and love telling stories. I have always been very curious about things I don’t know about, and I like shedding light on unknown or underreported issues or persons that should be known by the public.
My favorite subject since fifth grade has always been history, and I was lucky to have an incredible high school teacher who acted as my mentor during those formative years. I chose to pursue history because of my desire to learn the background and development of people and their countries’ histories.
When I started college at the UI, it was required that freshmen pick one activity or group to join on campus to help students to get involved and feel connected to the campus. I chose the university radio station, KRUI 89.7FM. I joined the music and production staff and got to interview bands and musical artists and also use audio editing software to create PSAs and grant spots to play throughout the day.
I fell in love with the vibe and pace of the station and knew that I had found my second home. I joined the news staff my junior year, which allowed me to interview visiting professors, authors and other influential persons. I also helped to co-host a Saturday morning news show each week where a group of staffers and myself would either interview an expert on a relevant issue or discuss a hot topic in the media.
My radio career expanded when I became a student assistant producer at Iowa Public Radio my senior year. It was my first experience in a professional radio setting, and it was a lot more fast paced than KRUI, but it wasn’t difficult to keep up, since I had developed the fundamental skills needed for my job — audio editing, social media strategy and research skills. I hope to continue in a career with public radio, but news radio would be just as wonderful, too!
I know it will be difficult to find a job in the radio industry, especially in the news department, since budgets are very small and are constantly being slashed. But, I believe that my passion for the industry and for finding and telling the news is what will continue to drive me to find any opportunity to be in a radio news station, even if it is an unpaid position.
My experiences and my drive will eventually lead me to a career; it just may not happen as quickly or easily as it used to be when my parents were getting out of college. There may be a point where I have to weigh my passion against my living expenses, and when that time comes, and I must chose another path to help pay for my bills, I will not forget the experiences that I have had in those radio stations.