From Graphic Design to Radio: College Career Dynamics


Madison Gott came to Piedmont University in pursuit of a graphic design degree, but found a passion for radio after working for Z98.7 FM, our student-run station. PHOTO// Madison Gott

Samantha Carvallo, Design and Media Manager

Going to college creates a lot of change in students’ lives. They are put in a position where they have to base their major on what they want to be when they grow up but this is no easy task. It’s a commitment that some are not ready for. 

Madison Gott is a senior mass communications major and was the radio station manager for Piedmont University’s z-98.7 FM student-run station for two years, but her career in radio was not entirely clear to her until later in college.

“I started seriously pursuing art at the ripe age of three after asking my mom for copy paper and tape for my birthday,” said Gott. “My first art show was when I was 12 in a coffee shop. From there I had my work in several art shows through high school and then fell off a bit in college after changing my major.”

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, roughly 30% of college students receiving a bachelor’s degree change their major within the first three years. Many students make these realizations for a number of reasons, the primary reason being a change in their career path. Madison Gott, for example, originally started her college career pursuing graphic design but plans changed when the opportunity to gain radio experience opened up her junior year and her newfound passion for being on air began to flourish. 

“I never seriously considered working in radio. It wasn’t like I was a music junkie,” said Madison Gott. “ After two years of being involved in z-98.7 FM, I was able to find a really cool job at WCON (107.7 The Breeze).” 

Choosing a major will never be a confident decision, but the earlier it is settled, the better off students are because there is the underlying possibility of extending an undergraduate degree by a few years due to a lack of confidence. 

The hardest pill to swallow is that a college major will not always be enough to aid you in your job search. The working world is a dynamic place and there will never be a singular opportunity that catches someone’s eye. College sets you up to be open-minded when the time for graduation comes. 

“Take risks,” said Gott. “Not only are you able to network, but you can also see what interests you most in terms of first, management or what department would work best for you. Maybe you will end up in sales, but who knows?”