Summer ’19 BizLab Fellows: Takeaways from an Interview

This summer, BizLab was joined by three fellows, each from different disciplines, academic levels, and areas of expertise. Matt Aufiero was BizLab’s Affiliate Marketing fellow, Sarah Barden its Cityspace fellow, and I was its Marketing and Promotions fellow. Before our last day, I was able to interview Matt and Sarah. This provided me with a chance to compare and contrast our experiences here at WBUR.

The most common theme in our interview was how quickly we picked up on the unique world of public media. Working for a nonprofit media organization was new to all of us, but we were able to recognize the mission and sensibility right away. During our time with BizLab, each of us felt that we were able to expand our roles and learn about numerous opportunities within the industry. Not only did we have the ability to learn about the industry, but everyone we encountered was very supportive of the fellows. Everyone wanted to know how you were doing and wanted to help you find connections to further your career.

Matt: At BizLab, we can wear multiple hats and experience a few different things. I like that in a role, because I can learn more about other opportunities that I’d be interested in.

Sarah: It felt nice to be appreciated and I was happy to see my work influencing [the CitySpace team’s] decisions throughout the summer on how to incorporate my experiments into their work.

Brian: Seeing the span of the work that BizLab is doing and being able to help stations find revenue streams is something that I definitely appreciate. BizLab also has a supportive and welcoming environment that has been great to be part of.

Another trend was that we learned about the industry by jumping into topics that we didn’t have a ton of experience with. None of us had worked professionally in the media industry before our fellowships, and my experiences were limited to working in college radio.

Matt: I had never worked in the media industry before, so I needed to learn pretty quickly about what was acceptable in radio and what would be acceptable in public radio.

Sarah: I didn’t know anything about planning events, so being on a team where they’re doing that all the time, I learned a lot.

Brian: Going into the workshop with WLRN was interesting. It was my first day on the job and I was thrown right in, but it gave me a better idea of what we were doing at BizLab.

Our last takeaway was that failure can actually be a good thing. This isn’t something that is typically accepted in many schools and businesses, but our BizLab experience really taught us about the positive side of hearing “no”.

Matt: I learned that a product doesn’t need to be perfect on the first try. Getting the product out there and testing it and trying to improve it from there is really important. If you are persistent and continue to work on your projects, you’ll get a result that you can tweak and improve upon.

Sarah: The lean startup method that BizLab uses is great and I don’t think I’ve ever experienced it in a non-profit environment before.

Brian: I’ve realized that you can learn from hearing “no” and that you can improve your product based on failures and roadblocks. There are steps that you can take to improve your product post-release, because it’s nearly impossible to satisfy 100% of your goal on the first try.

Working at BizLab over the past summer has truly been a great experience for each of us. We learned about the lean startup method, how to grow our audience, how to implement experiments into real world situations, and that hearing “no” allows you to learn and improve over time. We developed connections and worked with people from WBUR, VPR, WDET, WLRN, LPM, DCist, and CapRadio. Lastly, we’d like to thank Lindsy Goldberg, Joan DiMicco, Ted Fuller, Sarah Bloomer, and Nancy Mann for welcoming us to the BizLab team and supporting us throughout the summer. Learning about the media industry and working with BizLab has been an incredible experience that none of us will soon forget.

The Summer 2019 BizLab team!

Thank you for reading Brian Kelley’s 3rd and final blog post as BizLab’s Summer Marketing and Promotions Fellow.