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May 20, 2009
Brian Brooks has only been a Northwest alumnus for six months, but he's already seeing his dreams come true.
Since graduating in December, the former broadcasting student has been working as a DJ and on-air personality for Hot 103 Jamz (KPRS-FM) in Kansas City. The urban contemporary radio station broadcasts at 103.3 on the FM dial, and its playlist consists of hip-hop, R&B, soul, jazz and gospel music.
For as long as he can remember, Brooks has been an avid listener of Hot 103 Jamz, and when the Kansas City native decided to pursue a broadcasting career, the opportunity to work at the urban contemporary station he'd grown up with became his goal.
"[The station] is very popular in the Kansas City community and has a reputation [of] always being on top," Brooks said of Hot 103 Jamz. "I always strive for the best within myself, so why not work with the best?"
When it came time to choose a college, Northwest wasn't Brooks' only option. However, after a campus visit and a look at the University's hands-on broadcasting program, the decision an easy one. The mass communication department at Northwest prides itself on letting students dive in and get real-world radio experience right out of the gate.
"The second week of school I was on-air at X106, which is the on-campus (student) radio station," Brooks said. "I had four years to sharpen my skills as opposed to other schools where they make you wait until your junior, and sometimes senior, year before you get real hands-on experience."
When he arrived at Northwest, Brooks couldn't wait to get behind the microphone, but he never imagined his collegiate broadcasting experience would pay such big dividends after graduation.
In addition to the professional preparation he received in broadcasting, Brooks also believes that assistance from University offices, like Career Services, made getting a good job in his chosen field much easier, even in a doubtful economy.
"Career Services really made my resume look 100 times better than what it was when I first brought it to them," Brooks said. "The way that they help you with your professionalism is amazing."
Landing your dream job straight out of college is quite an accomplishment, and Brooks credits the experience he received at Northwest for much of his success.
"I feel so thankful and so blessed to have my job," he said. "I have to give credit to Northwest Missouri State, because I feel without that experience in college I would have never received this opportunity."
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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Northwest Missouri State University
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