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As she enters into her third year in the Burnett Honors College, Natalie Gooch is looking ahead to a very bright future. She plans to graduate in the spring of 2023 with a major in radio/television and a minor in information technology. Though she’s not sure exactly what job she’d like to pursue, Natalie is considering working in IT, perhaps for a broadcasting company.

Since the beginning of this summer, Natalie has worked as the lab manager for the honors college. As lab manager, Natalie monitors the operations of the computer lab in the BHC building, which is open for all honors students to utilize. If students need help with printing, computer troubles, or any other technical issues, Natalie is there to help. “Most of it is in the realm of IT, and I’d say the majority of my time is spent in the computer lab,” she remarks.
Natalie also assists with video and IT projects for BHC as needed. For example, she is responsible for the calming music that plays in the meditation garden. These projects allow Natalie to develop her skills in videography and other areas of expertise.

Natalie’s advice for fellow radio/television majors centers around gaining experience. “I would definitely say that real experience is more valuable than textbook knowledge,” she explains. She recommends either securing an internship or finding opportunities to shadow on productions. Real-world experience can also be gained in classes. Natalie points out that RTV 3543C, a studio production class she took over the summer, has given her hands-on experience in the production world, which she can use later on in her studies. Overall, acquiring experience both inside and outside of the classroom will result in a richer knowledge of any topic that is being studied.

Observing and learning from others can also be a beneficial way to gain experience. One of Natalie’s favorite parts of her job as lab manager is her interactions with faculty, staff, and other BHC Scholars. As she describes, “Being part of the honors college has given me a broader perspective on everything— just the amount of highly skilled people that I bump into on a daily basis is really exciting. I enjoy interacting with other honors students because many do internships in different fields and it’s helpful to be able to network with them.” Natalie also emphasizes that working diligently in college has long-term benefits. When asked what motivates her to work hard, she replies, “It gives me faith in my future. I don’t have to worry about being underprepared.”