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June 13, 2013
By Philip Gruenwald, media relations assistant
Steve Serrano is making a name for himself on the Kansas City airwaves, and he attributes a large part of his success to the skills he learned at Northwest Missouri State University. His advice to Northwest students is simple: Start gaining experience early.
Serrano, a 2007 Northwest graduate, recently was selected to be co-host of KCWE, Kansas City’s CW-affiliated television station. Additionally, he is an on-air personality during weeknights at KMXV Mix 93.3 FM in Kansas City.
Serrano landed at KMXV after earning his degree in broadcasting with a minor in speech communication. He applied to KCWE last year after his mom heard about the opening on the radio. He was chosen from 300 applicants, along with his co-host, Nikki Vivas.
“After I did a few auditions, they decided they really wanted to pick a guy and a girl,” Serrano said. “I happened to be the guy.”
As a student, Serrano lived out his “start early” philosophy with great success. He had four consecutive summer internships complementing his experience with student media and coursework. He knew the hard work would make him desirable to employers.
“With broadcasting, it’s so important to get hands-on experience,” Serrano said. “I knew going into Northwest I could get that hands-on experience, and the only way I could become good was to work and become good myself.”
Northwest’s Department of Communication and Mass Media offers seven degree programs that span the communication and mass media disciplines along with a variety of hands-on, real-world learning opportunities, including two radio stations, a television station, a printed and online newspaper, and a yearbook with DVD supplement.
Using those opportunities, Serrano actively sought ways to add more skills to his repertoire. By the time he graduated, he had left his mark on KZLX X-106, KNWT Channel 8, The Northwest Missourian, University Relations and KXCV-KRNW.
“I even did halftime entertainment for basketball games because it got me in front of people and improved my public speaking ability,” Serrano said. “Regardless if you think it’s going to help you right away, do it. It may help you in the long run.”
KCWE needed a co-host adept with TV and radio, and Serrano’s wide-ranging credentials fit the bill neatly. He challenges students to gain experience early and often, utilizing Northwest’s available extra-curricular activities.
“Some of the coworkers I have now couldn’t get into real broadcasting work until they were a junior,” Serrano said. “Northwest allows you to start so early, as a freshman, and develop those hands-on skills and that’s what makes someone a good broadcast person. You can’t just read a book; you have to go out and do it yourself.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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