Tab Week: Station Manager

SOPHIE WAWRO is both boss of the biannual Downing May Ball but also manages Cam FM, its complicated studio and 45 presenters.

Cam FM downing Fez helena izett iPhone Lottie Unwin Mona Ebert offcom Sophie Wawro

Sophie Wawro is a third year classics student, Station Manager of CamFM as well as President of Downing’s May Ball Committee.

In our words, this is her week.

Monday. Get a call from the station – one of the desks has broken.  It’s my job to be available for all sorts of emergencies now, rather than the organised life I had when back when I was presenting.  Make the walk down to the basement studio in a Churchill grad. house.  Eventually, I have to drag myself away to my afternoon supervision. I’ve (hopefully) left the remainder of the problem in good hands.  After we moved from AM to FM this year, the pressure is on to keep the station up and running. We’ve even been nominated for an award; one of our 45 hosts recently came third in the best female presenter category.

Tuesday. Start the day sorting through emails on my iPhone. Get through the first ten, but know I can expect at least forty more over the next few hours. Emails span from song requests from drivers on the M25, to old alumni, to record companies. Forward these on to various members of the committee. After my 11 o’clock lecture, I tune in. Someone slips a naughty word. Not extreme enough for Ofcom but I make a note of it nonetheless and cross my fingers that complaints don’t come in.

Wednesday. So busy sorting through emails I forget to have lunch again. Head to our committee meeting. Have a discussion with the presenter – and friend – from yesterday about swearing, which feels a bit awkward, but one has to be firm. Especially when leading a committee made up mainly of boys. Make a plan for some more on-scene reporting which we do using portable recorders – we’re more than just a studio station. Head to the central library to peruse some Greek before the radio social in the evening. I need to be on my best recruiting form: smile, approach, act interested. All the stress has lowered my immune system. Luckily no one can hear me sneezing at Fez.

Thursday. Check my Facebook before my morning supervision – about five adds from strangers. One of them kindly leaves a message along with his request: he would just love to get involved and wonders if I could give him some technical training. Ignore. Determined not to miss out on food again so I grab a sandwich from Pret. I’m afraid my lectures have to fit around my schedule, and the wine tasting for the May Ball committee is definitely a priority. Come four o’clock I’m a bit light-headed but spitting in the bucket just seemed like a silly idea. Turn on the radio and delight in the quality of the new arts and culture show. Finish an essay and head to bed.

Friday. Catch an early morning lecture and then a supervision before going back to Downing. The Grand Arcade conveniently stands in my way. Yes, I need another jumper from Topshop.  Sometimes I wish I’d made my a life a bit easier – the ball project can feel more like a job than a passion when there’s lots of admin to do. My Alan Sugar side surfaces more than at the CamFM meetings. Remind myself that I’m learning life lessons; tolerance, team work, the likes. Luckily we don’t have a budget meeting anytime soon. The Olympus theme is coming along nicely though. The centre piece is ordered, next job is to find some canapes to match.

Saturday. Woken up by my Mum, calling from Edinburgh. My emails tell me the marquee problem has been sorted – I’m proud of my efficient team. Spend the night with Homer and Don Draper. Mad Men Season 4 is definitely heating up. It’s productive, really I guess I deal with advertising? Oh, and the Gossip Girl that I missed on Wednesday.

Sunday. Head down to the studio, sort through some techie problems and produce one of the shows. I make a note to do a spontaneous show sometime next week and think of something funny to talk about. My phone buzzes – it’s a friend from Downing reminding me about the promise I made on Monday, ‘Remember!?’ Scroll through my diary – meet the girls around seven, lots of wine and Chinese. A few hours later and we’re watching Harry Potter. Really, if Emma Watson’s doing Burberry campaigns couldn’t they at least re-vamp Harry’s rucksack?  This is what happens when you don’t find the right sponsors.

Illustration by Helena Izett.