Elena Simanchik Internship

Elena Shimanchik with superviser Storm Edwards.
Elena Shimanchik with superviser Storm Edwards.

“Learning how to network was invaluable because many of those I met were business owners,
or employees and managers within ADM and Caterpillar.
I even had a few who told me to use their names as references when I apply for a job.”

My name is Elena Shimanchik and I had the pleasure of interning for Cromwell Radio Group in Decatur, IL with my supervisor Sarah (Storm) Edwards.  This experience gave me a new prospective on radio marketing – one that only hands on experience could provide.

Cromwell Radio Group is based in Decatur, IL and owns and operates six radio stations including 105.1 Jack FM, Magic 98 FM, 106.7 The Fox, 93.1 The Party, Griz FM 93.5, and Talk 101 FM.  Cromwell’s director is former WJMU President, Chris Bullocks, who was an absolute pleasure to work with as well as the rest of the Cromwell Radio Group crew.  I also had the pleasure of working with several very talented people: Sarah (Storm) Edwards, the voice of The Fox; Tara the voice of the Talk 101 FM; Gayla, Senior Account Executive; and Megan Senior Marketing Representative and many others.

My internship provided real world learning experiences that will help in my job search:

  • Learning the software programs that radio uses to keep a station live like Skylla Producer and Cool Edit Pro
  • Running remotes for events outside of the station such as “Bike Night”
  • Working day to day in the marketing department –  attending client meetings, assisting with contract preparation, and collaborating in the development of several commercials
  •  Shadowing staff in the marketing department starting with marketing representatives all the way up to senior executives
  • Networking with a variety of people

The Fox is known for having not only “Decatur’s Best Rock” but is also the most followed station by biker fans.  The Fox held “Bike Night” events every Thursday over the summer in different areas around Central Illinois.  These “Bike Night’s” brought in hundreds of bikers for the chance to win $106 cash or a brand new Harley Davidson Motor Cycle.  I was shocked the first time I attended because of the enormous crowds! My job for the radio station was to take pictures of everyone attending, to sign people up for the Harley give a way and to help Storm with anything she needed.  The demographic was amazing & I met and interacted with people I would never have met otherwise.

The marketing aspect of this internship was the highlight for me, I feel like I learned the most from it. Most Thursdays and Fridays, I stopped by the marketing department, and they always had something fun for me to do. I learned that a big part of a marketing representative’s job is to be on the road and not at the office. These days usually started early with meetings or a drive around town to stop by the offices that had contracts with us to see if they needed assistance.

During this internship, I also achieved a certification in in RAB (Radio Advertisement Burro).  I’m very proud of this since I spent many hours of my internship learning RAB, and taking quizzes.

I consider myself very lucky because I met a lot of great people during my internship, and many I now count as friends (from bike nights).  Learning how to network was also important because many of those I met were business owners, or employees and managers within ADM and Caterpillar.  I even had a few who told me to use their names as references when I apply for a job. I would always encourage business students to do internship if possible.