By Brandon Hall
Of all the roles available to interns this summer at Trans World Radio, operating actual radios is only required for a select few. Can you guess which ones? If you only thought of radio tower engineers, Abi Russell would like a word.
Abi is an incoming senior at Cedarville University, where she’s studying Broadcasting and Digital Media with an emphasis in Integrated Media. During her time in college alone, Abi has already amassed 200+ hours of on-air experience and is excited to assist in audio production for some of TWR’s many programs.
Q: How did you hear about TWR?
I was looking for a job where I could learn more about production and broadcasting as well as grow spiritually. My audio professor and academic advisor suggested that I look at TWR, especially since Kelly Gilbert, a recent graduate of my university, had a good experience there. Without having any idea what TWR was about, I immediately jumped in. I met with Kelly for coffee, discussed the organization with her, stressed a little bit about how scary raising support would be and ended up putting my application in that same month.
Q: Why did you choose to pursue an internship at TWR specifically?
TWR seemed like a good balance between a spiritually driven and safe environment—one that wouldn’t shelter me too much from the realities of what’s out there in the world. The gospel is dangerous, and sometimes getting the gospel to others is risky and difficult. I wanted to work in a place that would stretch me in both my skills and my spiritual life, in addition to exposing me to some of the amazing diversity that the world has to offer.
Q: What do you feel your calling is, and how does this summer fit into that?
The term “calling” is really hard to define for me, because I don’t necessarily think that God comes to every single person and definitively says, “Yes, that’s the thing you should do!” However, I’ve always felt like I was meant to push myself — academically, spiritually — in every aspect of my life. God gave me this intense drive to try and make things better and to make a difference in my little world. My calling has been to pray hard and follow that drive wherever it leads. This summer it led me to TWR, and I can already see how God is bringing me into contact with people and situations that could end up shaping my future.
Q: What kinds of projects will you be working on over the summer?
A lot of audio production! I’ll be working on SON-Lift, a series of audio dramas about the life of Christ. This means I’ll be editing scripts, finding music and sound effects, working the studio a lot and hopefully recruiting some talent. Outside TWR, I’ll also be studying for the July LSAT in hopes that I can go to law school after finishing my undergraduate degree.
Q: What challenges have you faced so far in your internship, and how have you overcome them?
It sounds crazy, but I’ve never actually worked in an office before! Most of my experiences have consisted of sitting in recording studios or being on-air on the radio. Even better, I never stayed in the dorms at college — I’ve always been a commuter student. Adjusting to office life and life in the lodge with the other interns has been really interesting. It’s certainly not bad, but any kind of adjustment is a challenge (such as moving to NC). It’s crazy how sometimes the biggest obstacles aren’t the job or the workload, but the “living” part!
Q: What are you looking forward to learning or doing during your time here?
I’m really looking forward to getting to work on a variety of aspects of the different projects. Working on projects in college is one thing but getting to be a part of a real organization and doing meaningful work that will go all over the globe is on a different level!
Q: What are your plans after you graduate?
I am hoping to attend law school after finishing my undergraduate degree. I’d like to study a track that would lead to work in media law. Right now, I’m looking at studying intellectual property rights, which would include learning about things like copyrights, trademarks and other content-related issues. Working at TWR is giving me a good perspective on what that type of work might entail.
Q: What’s a fun or unusual fact about yourself?
This is honestly the hardest question to answer. I live with myself every day, so who’s to say what’s unusual? I suppose one odd thing would be that I put ranch dressing on everything—pizza, French fries, salad, beans and rice, cut veggies, burritos, breadsticks — it’s an all-purpose dip that I love adding to my food!
Brandon Hall is a 21-year-old writer from central North Carolina living in and only by the grace of God. Born with a passion for communication and the arts, his outlets include creative writing, musical theater and competitive speech and debate. He is currently a junior at Regent University pursuing a major in Communication Studies.