'I Don't Know. I'm Making This Up As I Go.'
Updated: Oct 3
“I want to be Indiana Jones…”
That’s exactly what I said to the general manager of the radio stations at Tarleton State University. It was during my first real job interview in almost 10 years.
Needless to say, confusion – and silence – filled the room after my random declaration. He tilted his head and slightly squinted his eyes. He had that smirk on his face that said, “please tell me you’re going to elaborate.”
I was prepared for his nonverbal response, so I explained.
“I absolutely want to be your development director. I will bust my tail raising money for these radio stations, but I still want to go on adventures. I’m not talking about carrying a whip, chasing treasures and rescuing the girl from a snake pit. But I still want to speak. I still want to coach. I still want to share my message and pour into other people.
“When I stand on stage, delivering my keynote speeches, I want to be an ambassador for Tarleton State. When I’m meeting with my coaching clients in a one-on-one setting, I want to represent the university. When I’m recording my community podcasts, I want to be an extension of the school.”
Then I uttered the craziest six words that have ever crossed my lips: “I want to do it all.”
He simply said: “I figured you did.”
During our two-hour conversation, we discussed what that would look and feel like. We talked about the fluid schedule and expectations. I reiterated that when I was working for Tarleton – 40+ hours a week – he would be getting 100 percent of my focus and energy.
Three weeks later, I received my official offer letter from Tarleton State University. And next week, I start my new position as the Development and Promotion Coordinator for KTRL and 100.7 KXTR The Planet.
You: “Hold on … you’re doing what!?!?!?”
The transcendental explanation … I’m sharing the story of the two Tarleton radio stations, while cultivating genuine relationships with potential donors and advertisers.
The unambiguous explanation … I raise money for the campus radio stations, primarily through underwriting.
I guess the next obvious question is “Why?”
Here is the short answer to a very long explanation … it was simply time.
For more than 10 years, I have been clawing, scratching and punching for traction with my personal brand. I’ve been in a knock-down, drag-out dog fight, trying to develop a sustainable business by doing what I love, which revolves around inspiring others and celebrating the amazing power of story.
It has been a hell of a ride, but a financial rollercoaster all the same.
This opportunity at Tarleton intrigues me. It’s not total mission drift because of the storytelling component. It gives me a tremendous opportunity to get back into radio, which I fell in love with years ago.
The biggest thing … it allows me to keep chasing my dream and following my passion. It gives me the opportunity to be … Indiana Jones. (FYI: The title of this blog post is an iconic quote from Dr. Jones himself.)
I thought I would close down this blog post by sharing the cover letter that I submitted with my application. During my interview, I told the general manager (shoutout to Lance) that this was some of my best writing that I’ve done since finishing the manuscript for The Tacos and Chocolate Diet, my debut book.
Preface to this cover letter: I was first approached about this position back in 2018, but my Master’s Degree in Educational Administration did not meet the education requirements for the position at the time. It came up again a couple of years later, but the timing wasn’t right for me.
Throughout this journey, I’ve leaned into my faith and trusted fully. You have no idea how many times over the last nine months I’ve reminded myself that God’s plan and His timing are perfect.
Here is my cover letter that helped my land my new position at Tarleton State University:
To Whom It May Concern,
“The first lesson in finding and following your own star is patience…”
This position at the Tarleton radio station has been on my radar – in some shape, form or fashion – for almost five years. But the timing and circumstances have never been right.
I’m a firm believer that this time is different – it’s definitely different for me, and I think it’s different for KTRL too.
When I heard that the Development & Promotion Coordinator position could possibly open up again, something immediately stirred inside of me. It was a fire that I thought had faded forever. I had started to come to terms that my brief stint in the radio industry was officially over. I had already started several new and exciting adventures.
Life is a wild and crazy ride, though.
Radical honesty: I want this position, and I firmly believe that I’m the perfect person for the job. With my background in marketing and radio – as well as my experience on college campuses across the state – I don’t feel like there is a better candidate suited for this position.
This position revolves around strong communication skills and real connections. It will be my job to share the KTRL story and cultivate new and existing relationships. Then I want to take the Development & Promotion Coordinator position to another level. I want to be more than just a fund-raiser. The radio station deserves more than that.
I want to genuinely connect with the station’s advocates. I want to have a presence in the community. I want to be a champion for the broadcast students and celebrate the opportunity for these students to learn.
Even though my radio career has been short, I firmly believe that I have the talent, energy and intestinal fortitude to make this happen.
Thank you in advance for considering me for this incredible opportunity.
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Confession: As I signed the cover letter and finished the application process, I had a twinge of guilt. Why? Because I attended Midwestern State University for undergrad. When I was in school, Tarleton and MSU were big rivals. Never in a million years, did I think that I’d be donning the Tarleton logo on my chest. It’s just another testament to God’s timing, His plan (and His sense of humor).