Student receives Sirius XM Radio internship

Rebecca Huddleston, better known as Bec O’Neal, will travel to Washington D.C. to start her training at Sirius XM.

O’Neal, a senior media production major, landed an internship with Sirius XM where she will be the music programming intern with The Village, an online-only folk station on channel 741. She will intern from Jan. 27 – May 9, working around 30 hours per week.

O’neal said her job description includes tasks such as to work with the music scheduling software, distributing playlists to record labels, interacting with listeners via email and on-air phone screening.

“I think folk music has a strangely negative public opinion, especially for young people,” O’Neal said. “I’ve surprised myself recently without how much I like folk music. I guess the first thing people think of when folk is mentioned is something like traditional songs from the country, when in fact, folk music has been evolving greatly for about 60 or 70 years.”

O’Neal said a lot of the music played on The Village is similar to the WUSM 88.5 playlist.

“I’d say a lot of what you’d hear on The Village is a lot more singer/songwriter than traditional,” O’Neal said. “When you tune into The Village, you’ll hear artists like Bob Dylan, Peter Paul & Mary, John Denver, Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez. Actually, we played a lot of the music that gets played on The Village on WUSM, too.”

O’Neal said the application and interview process for her Siruis XM internship was pretty simple and quick.

“The application was pretty basic; it was virtually putting your resume into the system,” she said. “About a week later, I was driving through a McDonald’s when I got a phone call. It was my first interview with Sirius XM. I actually did the interview there in the car driving down Hardy Street.”

A few days later, O’neal was offered the internship.

“When I found out I got the internship, I was pretty pumped. I think it’s exactly the next step I need in my career,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal said her goal is to eventually work for a larger radio station in London.

“The big kahuna of jobs for me would be to work for BBC Radio 1,” she said. “It’s the first radio station I loved listening to, and if you tune in, you’ll see how different all the radio hosts are on it compared to how our DJs (are) in America.”

O’Neal added that interning for Sirius XM will look great to her future employers and will be a great addition to her resume.

Anxious, nervous and excited are amongst the emotions O’Neal said she is expecting to feel.

“I’m sure I’ll feel very anxious at first, but I know I will be fine,” O’Neal said. “I love music and people, so it will be exciting and fun. I’ll get to meet musicians from all over the country and spend time with professionals who have made the growth of music radio their lives.”

According to a USM press release, O’Neal said working at WUSM has been the best experience of her life.

“I’ve become friends with some of the most amazing and passionate people I’ve ever met,” she said. “I cannot stress enough how much I will miss my new family and every single person at WUSM who has helped build me into who I am now.”

To tune in to The Village, visit