The Real Bae: Bailey Mesa

How many people have you met who genuinely enjoy helping others shine? They love to help others showcase their talents and they're happy to let others shine. I had the privilege of meeting a person exactly like I just described: iCLU Radio DJ Bailey "Bae" Mesa.                                                                                        Photo courtesy of Bailey Mesa

Her Campus Cal Lutheran: What is your major?

Bailey Mesa: I am a Communications major with a general emphasis.

HCCLU: What are you involved in on campus?

BM: My biggest involvement on campus is iCLU Radio. Last semester, I took the iCLU Radio class for fun because I needed the credits and I needed it for my general emphasis to graduate. I thought that it would be so fun to be on the air and to have my own show. I was never somebody who wanted to come out of my shell, so I never thought I would be someone on the air. But then I told myself that I was going to force myself to take the class, I was going to force myself to like it, and that I had no choice but to take it. So I took the class and after the first couple of weeks I fell in love with it- I thought it was so cool and I loved that your family could listen in and that you could say whatever you want. My friends started listening to my show and that was super cool. It's a cool experience to say that I have a show and that my friends can text me about topics that they think I should talk about. Its brought me out of my shell so much and that has really helped me here at Cal Lutheran. I'm a senior now, I started it when I was a junior and I'm hoping to finish it off in my last semester. I'm also an officer of the club; I'm one of the Promotions Directors, so I put on events around campus and essentially help market iCLU Radio to the school. It's a lot of responsibility but it's very fun.

HCCLU: What is iCLU Radio?

BM: iCLU Radio is our student run campus station. A lot of people don't know about it, which is why we're trying to bring more awareness to the station. It's basically like another version of The Echo- it's another medium for people to find out about events on campus, things like that. If you're in the club or if you've taken the class, you can have a show and it gives you creative freedom to do whatever you want. You can play your own music, you can talk about whatever you want, and we also try to push people to talk about campus events so it's a great way for people to be in the loop and find out more about what's going on. We have a really cool new app that we're doing the radio streaming from called the Radio FX app, which allows the listeners to type in messages to the DJs. They can ask if they can play a certain song or if they can talk about a certain event that's coming up. It's cool because it's an interactive medium for people to find out about on campus events.  

HCCLU: What's the name of your show?

BM: My show is called "Beats by Bae." I wanted to do a little play on words because everyone's always calling me 'bae' or 'bails' so I wanted to do a play off my name. Last semester, I stuck to the genre I know and like, which was alternative, indie, and 90's rock. But this year, I decided to switch it up a bit and now I'm doing a different genre every week. It makes it somewhat difficult because I have to stay on my toes and be creative because I have a set theme that my show is centered around each week. During my talk breaks, I talk about stuff around campus or funny little things that happen to me throughout the day or funny holidays that are happening or coming up. For example, it was National Taco Day at one point so I talked about the specials at Taco Bell and whatnot. If it's country week or hip-hop week, I'll try to tie my talk break topics into that theme. I try to bring a little bit of sassiness and wit to it.

HCCLU: How does being a senior feel?

BM: It's scary! I feel like everyone asks "what are you doing after you graduate" and all the seniors say "I don't know, you tell me." I have a couple of things in the works that I want to do, but for right now I'm just feeling out my options. Radio might be something that I want to get into, but I have another semester to figure it out. It is scary to think about how fast the time has flown by.

HCCLU: Do you have any advice for any of the other students, as a senior who's looking back at the past four years of her college career?

BM: I would say, no matter what major you're in or what you want to do, do a little bit of everything so that you have a variety of experiences. For example, I'm a communications major so I took classes in advertising, graphic design, photography, marketing, public relations, and broadcasting. I did a little bit of everything so I could get my feet wet and I know what I want to do once I graduate. Now I've been able to hone it in a little bit and differentiate between something I know I don't particularly love and other things that I know I'll be okay with doing. If you have a major that encompasses a variety of subjects, take as many classes as you can. Don't limit yourself to one thing because you could have been great at something else and if you don't take that opportunity, you'll never know if you would've fallen in love with something else. Do as much as you can, and enjoy as much as you can. iCLU Radio was the first real club I was involved in on campus and I fell in love with it, so take on as many leadership roles as you can. 

HCCLU: What are some of the other shows that iCLU Radio has?

BM: We have a plethora of versatile shows this semester. In the mornings on Tuesdays and Thursdays we have our club members do a hip-hop number. The guy before me on Wednesdays does island type vibes, the girl before him is like me. She talks about her life and she's really sassy with it, which is cute. She plays whatever she feels like. We have a country hour during the week. But what's really cool is that on the app, students can go and type in a genre they want to hear and it'll show you what time the station will be playing that genre. You can also use the app to look at the profiles we have, you can see the times each show is playing, and if you click on the name of the show you can learn more about the DJ and what their show is really about. It has a little bit of everything, so no matter what kind of music you like, I'm sure you can find it on iCLU Radio.

                                                                                                                                  iCLU on Radio FX

HCCLU: What's the one thing you love about working with iCLU Radio?

BM: There's so much that I love about it but I just love being able to be involved. I love that when there's an event on campus, iCLU Radio has a presence there because I feel like when people think of college campuses they think of the newspaper and the clubs on campus, but they don't think about a whole other medium that you can use to get information out, which is the radio. I think the radio is, unfortunately, a dying industry so I think it's really cool that we can be part of it and bring it back. We've been getting so much traction during this semester because of the things we've done. We do these giveaways and it's great to be part of that and do our part to make the campus happy. 

HCCLU: What is one thing you've learned about yourself since working at iCLU Radio?

BM: I would say that it's brought me out of my shell. I've always been more of a shy person and I would never have thought to go up on stage. For example, every other Thursday night, I'm the host for Open Mic Night. It's me and Romello who host it, we had one on the 16th of November and it's great for the students to come up and showcase their talents. If they have original raps, poems, songs, anything, they can bring it up. It's awesome to be able to encourage students to be themselves and it's even more amazing to witness that and to see students grow throughout the semester with their music and whatnot. I just love being part of that growth and being able to give students a platform to do that.

HCCLU: What's one of the coolest things you've seen during Open Mic Night?

BM: I think it's amazing when students have their original songs and poems and raps. It's cool when students do covers and whatnot, but when you really see a student who sat in their room forever, working on a song that means a lot to them personally, it's amazing to watch. I think I saw a student break down because his song meant so much to him and it's just a unique environment to be in, to know that this piece of work is so personal to someone and to watch them willingly share that personal work with the rest of the school. You never know if these students will make it or not so it's cool to see their beginning stages.

HCCLU: What is Open Mic Night?

BM: Open Mic Night is hosted by iCLU Radio and it's a platform for students to showcase their talents, whether that's performing one of your own pieces or performing a cover, you can do it. As long as you want to be in front of a crowd, you can do it. The only thing that we ask is that students sign up on our iCLU Radio Facebook page so we can have an idea of who's going to perform that night and how we'll be setting up for that night. It's every other Thursday and our old location was in Jack's Corner and our new location is in the Student Union on the patio. November 16th was our first night at the new location and with the hanging lights and the general atmosphere, it was a fun event. The next Opn Mic Night will be on the 30th of November and our last one for the semester is on the 14th of December. But we'll be back next semester. It starts at 9 to 9:15 at night and usually lasts from 45 minutes to an hour. If you come and get inspired by seeing students perform and decide you want to perform in that moment, we'll probably let you as well, as long as you have something prepared.

                                                                                     The first Open Mic Night at the Student Union Patio 

HCCLU: Do you ever perform during Open Mic Nights?

BM: I don't consider myself a performer, I'm more of the host. I like to organize events, I'm not the entertainer! I like to let the other students shine and I like to be there to help promote them. I wouldn't call myself a singer or a poet, but I like being there to help students do whatever they want to do and watch the students perform and be happy in that moment.

HCCLU: What can the students do to really help iCLU Radio?

BM:  I would definitely say spread the word. If you have a friend who's on the air, put it on all your social media, promote your friend as much as possible. I don't think students even realize that we're doing this for them, we're doing this for the school. There's so much good information and you find out more about the people you go to school with, which you never would have found out because radio is such a personal element, you can talk about your life and what you want. You can be free on the radio and really express yourself. Get as many people as you can to listen to the shows, to attend Open Mic Night, and to be present at the events we have. We're doing this so people have a platform to showcase their creativity and showcase their talents. We also will take people on our shows; if they're starting performers and want to go on one of our shows, all they have to do is contact us and we have a set amount of people who are willing to let people perform and do live interviews on the air so they can talk about their music careers. It's a great way to build their network. 

HCCLU: As a student, how's the end of your fall semester as a senior going?

BM: It's hard; no one tells you how hard senior year is until you get to senior year. Graduation is coming up, senior meetings, and there are so many deadlines to meet as well. People think that you can just coast during senior year but there's so much to do. It's tough, but it's also the most fun year I've had so far because all my friends have the same mentality as I do. This is our last year of college and the last time we'll all be together so let's make this year fun. We're going to every event we can, all the senior socials, and just being as active and as involved as we can and because of that we've had the best year.

HCCLU: Is that a recommendation you have for everyone now that you are being as involved as possible?

BM: Oh definitely! If you're not already doing it now, start getting involved your senior year. I would say don't miss out because students do move onto graduate school, but grad school is not the same environment. You're never going to be an undergrad again and this is your time to enjoy being a kid one last time before you do go into the workforce. This is the last time you can make college memories and this only happens once. Do as much as you can your senior year and live it up as much as possible. I'm already starting to regret not going to as many events as I could have in the last three years.

HCCLU: Do you have any regrets from the last four years?

BM: I don't really live with regrets, I like to do something and stand by it and be proud of it. I would say if I had to choose one thing it's that I wasn't as involved as I could have been because once I did get involved, it changed my life. So I would say do as many things as you can, meet as many friends as you can, make as many connections as you can, and network as much as you can. 

HCCLU: How have you personally networked throughout your college career?

BM: I network through the different classes I take and the different activities I do. Every time I have a new class, I try to either become friends with the TA or talk to my professor in office hours and see if they have any good resources or connections that I can talk to for internships. Become close with your professors because they really are the best resource for finding out what's going to happen after college. They're here to help us and a lot of people don't realize that. I didn't realize it until recently; they're here because they have connections, they know people in their respective industry. 

HCCLU: Do you have a professor who has been your mentor?

BM: I would definitely say that my radio professor has been my mentor. He introduced me to Spencer, who's the morning DJ from 103.3 The Vibe. Spencer would come into our class and listen to our shows and he's pretty big in the Ventura area and he asked me to come to his studio one time just so I could get commercial experience. So I was on his show for a day, which was really cool because stuff like that isn't something you would ever be able to experience unless you go out of your comfort zone. I never thought I would go on the air, I thought that was crazy. But then I told myself that I would be fine and to just be myself and I did it and it was the best experience I've had that I can now put on my resume.

HCCLU: What has Cal Lutheran really helped you with throughout the past four years?

BM: I love Cal Lutheran as a whole, but the university has really brought me out of my comfort zone. There are so many things you can do by coming to this school and I love that there are small class sizes and that the professors seem to really care about you and that they know your name. I just feel like it's brought me so many opportunities that I would have otherwise never had if I was going to a big school. It's that one-on-one dynamic you have with professors that's so important. My confidence has boosted so much since being in all these different classes. I just love the vibe of the campus, there are so many different types of people so I've also made many new friends. 

HCCLU: Is the vibe or general atmosphere one of the characteristics of Cal Lutheran you'll miss once you graduate?

BM: When I was applying to colleges a few years ago, I got into some pretty good schools, but when I toured them, I didn't get the same feeling I got from Cal Lutheran. Everybody's so nice here, it's easygoing and lax and I hate it and I love it at the same time. You run into people you know everywhere, but it's also such a homey feeling. I wouldn't want to be in a place where I don't know the people.

HCCLU: What are your plans after you graduate?

BM: I aim to go straight into the workforce. There's a couple of opportunities I can pursue without a Master's degree and I'm fortunate enough as a communications major, to not feel obligated to pursue a Master's degree. I want to get into the entertainment industry, I don't know exactly what yet, but I have my sights set on a few things and I want to get the ball rolling.

HCCLU: What do you have your sights set on?

BM: Radio is where I seem to be headed, but if not radio promotions, then I would love to work on sets. I'd also like to be part of editing, post-production, TV, and producing. If that doesn't work out then I would go into the music industry and be part of artist management.

HCCLU: So you have a wide variety of options and you're the first student I've met who deliberately chose to have a general emphasis. I know quite a few students who decided not to have a general emphasis in their majors because they wanted to take a more specific route to really set their career path up. Does the fact that you have so many options intimidate you at all?

BM: No, not at all. I can't imagine going into college and not trying everything because then the question you always ask yourself is what if. Let's say you have an emphasis in marketing and you don't end up realizing that film is your passion. You will never get to experience that true passion if all you took was your marketing classes. That's not to discourage students from finding their emphasis and sticking to it, but if you're more like me and you're the type of personality who just needs to experience a little of everything to decide on things, then go for it. People tend to discourage the general emphasis because it doesn't make you quite so competitive when you're applying for certain jobs, but I feel like I can go wherever I want with my general emphasis and I'm glad I gave myself that room to do so. I was kicking myself a little for the general emphasis for a year or so and in hindsight, I'm glad I did because I would have never done radio, I would have never gone into the marketing internship I did. I would have never found my interest in film or photography. It's opened doors for me.

HCCLU: Can you talk a little bit about what you've done with the variety of classes you've taken? 

BM: I've done radio so now I'm very comfortable being on the air and as one of the Promotions Directors for iCLU Radio, I now have experience in promotions, which helped me at my internship last semester at a marketing and public relations firm. I was the social media intern, so I would help create the marketing for different clients. This semester I am taking a photography class, and I have fallen in love with it, so in that class I do a different photo shoot every week. Now I have a mini portfolio that I've put together. For my marketing internship, I needed to know graphic design and Photoshop and I took those classes as well. Now I can make logos for different things and I know video editing through my advertisement and marketing classes. I've taken a film production class, so I can do that as well. The skills that I've picked up through the different classes are skills that I'll be using for every job. 

HCCLU: What do you do when school gets tough or when life feels just a little bit too overwhelming?

BM: I think about the big picture, it'll pay off in the end. The biggest thing that I always tell myself is to work hard now, so you can enjoy life later. No matter what you do, it will pay off, as long as you're working hard. Do everything you can, do as much as you can, go out of your comfort zone, meet new people that you wouldn't normally meet because setting yourself up for once you graduate will help you so much later on.