Before attending Trent University, Caliesha Harris ‘18 had no experience creating content for the radio. Now a graduate of the History and Media Studies programs, Caliesha is working for CBC Radio as part of the CBC Radio Peter Gzowski Internship - an opportunity she says piqued her interest early on at the University.
“I heard about it from some of my professors in my second and third year and had it flagged as something that I knew that I wanted to pursue in my fourth year,” says Caliesha.
The summer internship selects students from four universities across Canada with connections to Peter Gzowski, including Trent, to receive training from the CBC and then work on radio programming from May until the end of August. Trent's Careerspace coordinates the application process throughout the winter, connecting students to this prestigious opportunity.
Right into the Deep End
Caliesha has developed skills including cutting clips for radio, writing scripts, interviewing, and finding guests to appear on shows. One of her most profound experiences, she says, was working during the recent Ontario provincial election.
“It was cool knowing that my clips were going to be played across the province the next day, since all other stations would be covering the election as well.”
Along with covering events, Caliesha has worked for a variety of programs, from daily news to weekly talk shows.
“Working on different shows really allowed me to pick up a variety of skills. While every show involves similar work, each one is a little different in the way that you go about it.”
Trent Radio Ga Ga
Caliesha’s first taste of radio came while she was studying at Trent. In a media class she had the choice of writing an essay or doing a project with Trent Radio. The project was so unique and creative compared to a traditional essay, says Caliesha.
“I didn't have to write this paper. I could do all this creative, fun work, and I ended up liking it so much that I applied to have a show on at the beginning of 2020.”
During her time at Trent, Caliesha created three different shows for Trent Radio. She says the radio allowed her to experiment with different genres and styles.
“During my last year at Trent, I wrote the show I was most proud of, Out of Orbit, which was this weird sci-fi show. Having that freedom to do whatever I wanted was great. And that was included in my application for the internship as an example of my creative work. So that experience led me directly into the internship.”
Caliesha says she decided to “marry” her love of media to her passion for history by pursuing a Masters of History at McMaster University.
“I think it'll really set me up well to succeed in history just because it's a different experience. Any time you get an opportunity to write or to work on something a little off the beaten path for what you do, I think it prepares you.”