Posted 11/13/09, Arlington Heights Trib
To read original article, click HERE.
Students in Kathy Deger’s Communication class at Saint Viator High School are finishing up a unit on interviewing skills, and on Monday, they had a prime subject to question: former WLIT morning drive host, Melissa Forman.
Forman and 93.9 FM parted ways in August, with station officials opting to take the morning show in a different direction. However, it left Forman more time to share her passion for the industry with one of her target markets: teens.
She spoke in front of two morning classes at Saint Viator, or more than 50 juniors and seniors who enrolled in the class to learn more about possibly pursuing a communications major in college.
“One of the first things I can tell you is that if you’ve ever dreamed of going into radio, it’s totally possible,” Forman said. “It’s one of the coolest adventures I’ve ever been through.”
As a Northbrook native and graduate of nearby Glenbrook North High School, Forman said she could relate to Deger’s students, and she felt she had some credible experience to share.
“She is an actual hands-on subject for them to address,” Deger says. “One of the aspects of our interviewing unit is asking good questions to get good responses.”
Students asked Forman about her toughest interview — Keanu Reaves — and her craziest adventure — dog fighting in F16s.
“I like how enthusiastic she is about everything,” said senior Tim Skladzien of Kildeer. “That really comes across on the air.”
Forman described how taking an unpaid internship at a radio station in Champaign, while she was an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, led to her first on-air, morning drive position. She held that job for five years before taking a similar role in Cincinnati and eventually making the move back to Chicago.
“The thing I always liked about radio is that what you say and how you say it, can make a difference,” Forman said, “rather than how you look.”
Forman encouraged the students to be open to all of the opportunities the emerging communications field holds.
“With the explosion of the Internet, the broadcast communications field will be an incredible industry,” she said.
No matter what the medium, she added, the ability to articulate well — whether written or on air — will matter, as well as the ability to interview people, whether they are famous or not.
“Don’t be afraid to get an interview with a celebrity,” she said. “Reach out, find a connection that you have in common. They’re people too. All you have to do is ask.”