In conversation with Sam Walker

Sam Walker is an award-winning broadcaster, audio consultant, and director at What Goes on Media. As a podcast consultant, Sam and her team are responding to the ever-growing demand for audio content, and can offer their expertise and experience to execute your podcast vision. Working on a variety of different projects from her home in Arizona, Sam runs a comprehensive podcast service, all the way from consulting, to offering full production packages to suit your individual needs and goals. Click here to find out more about how What goes on Media can transform your audio production. 


On Monday 8th of March, Northern Power Women will be hosting their NPWLive event, followed by their NPW Awards later that evening. Set against the backdrop of this year’s International Women’s Day theme, Choose to Challenge, Sam is looking forward to this collaborative and empowering event, particularly after a challenging year. “I’m looking forward to hearing stories that can inspire us in these most difficult of times”, she said. The day offers the chance to make the most of the inspiring and supportive Northern Power Women community, and share our cumulative experiences. As Sam mentioned, the NPWLive event in particular will allow us to “hear about experiences of people who have achieved incredible things in circumstances you didn’t think were possible […] you hear stories of people who have faced adversity and been resilient and whose career paths have gone all over the place. It’s not a straight path to success from A to B”. 


Sam talked about how her recent decision to #choosetochallenge herself when she and her family made the move to Arizona. After having built up her professional reputation and career in the UK, Sam found it challenging to move to a country where she felt she would have to start from scratch. “It felt like my experience wasn’t valid and like I didn’t have a voice, and that was really hard”. Despite this, Sam was determined to carve out a name for herself on her new continent, and offers advice for those who find themselves in a similar position: “It’s about putting in the work and knowing that your experiences and your expertise are valid and important, not to undersell yourself even when things are tough”. Once she began to see the results of these efforts, Sam talked about the domino effect that this triggered in her career. “Once i started to get a little bit of work and talk to people, and once people realised what my skill set was and what my experience was it was like floodgates opening […] There was a big learning experience in terms of just hold tight, know your worth, know your value and it will come”. 


Now an award-winning broadcaster with an array of professional accolades and her own production company, it may come as a surprise to learn than Sam didn’t always know that broadcasting was what she wanted to do. Working in marketing for the majority of her 20s, it was only when she was invited to read bulletins for a brand new radio show that the stars aligned, and Sam understood exactly what it was she wanted to do with her career. “Everything came into focus, and I went, “this is what I want to do, this is it!””. Despite the financial setback from her salary in marketing to a media salary, this was offset by the passion she had for the work she was doing. “I had no money and I was deliriously happy”. Working in a career that requires lots of personal sacrifices such as missing birthdays, weddings, and weekends, Sam spoke of how you can’t pretend to love this demanding line of work: “I think unless you love something you can’t get up at 4am for it […] you love it or you don’t love it, and you can’t fake it because there are a lot of sacrifices you have to make”. 


Sam had some words of wisdom for anyone willing to make these sacrifices to get started with their own career in media. Putting it plainly, Sam explained, “it’s really really hard”. Despite the competition and the small number of pathways into this high demand industry, Sam was able to offer some concrete steps to anyone looking to enter the world of media. For those with limited budgets, Sam recommends making the most of free resources. “There are opportunities out there so get on the networking groups, such as audio networking groups, subscribe to lots of newsletters, teach yourself editing, audio production […] It’s about being multiskilled”. For other budding broadcasters with a bit more financial flexibility, Sam would suggest seeking the advice of a podcast consultant and paying an expert to teach you the do’s and don’ts of the booming industry. This is one of the many services offered by What Goes on Media, where Sam and her team can use their career expertise to get your broadcast dreams up and running. 


One of Sam’s many projects at What Goes on Media is producing weekly episodes of the Northern Power Women podcast. Weekly episodes where Sam and Simone Roche MBE (NPW founder and CEO) tackle the important issues of the week, accompanied by the Life Lessons of a member of the Northern Power Women community. The interactive format of the podcast, influenced by input from the NPW community is also part of why Sam loved this project so much. This input comes, in part, from the Life Lessons; pearls of wisdom and experience from Northern Power Women. “I love the life lessons”, said Sam, “it really is such a simple thing to do and I would urge anyone to come and get involved in doing it”. 


To those who might be hesitant about sending in their own Life Lessons or becoming involved with NPW activities and events, Sam’s message is simple. “you are perfect to tell your Life Lessons right now. I have also been sitting where you are now and thinking “well, I’m sure there’s other people who can say it better than I can” or “I’m sure other people have more experience than me or have been through more adversity than me”. People will want to hear what you have to offer, and as Sam says, “don’t try and second guess what parts of your experience and expertise will affect other people, because they absolutely will”. Take Sam’s advice, and head to our instruction page for simple steps on getting your story out there. 

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