Campus Celebrity: Natalie Kucko, '17

When a child follows in his or her parent’s footsteps regarding career choice, it’s usually driven by pressure or the desire to please.  However, some share the same passion and choose to lead the type of life they have been exposed to for years. 

For Natalie Kucko, growing up at News 8 WROC in Rochester, New York instilled her love for writing, broadcast and all things news-related.  She quietly observed the many jobs that take place in a newsroom under the watchful eye of her sportscaster father, John Kucko. 

Since coming to college as a journalism and mass communication major, Natalie has worked for the on-campus radio station, WSBU FM 88.3 The Buzz.  Most people know that class work is stressful and time consuming, but extra curricular activities are often overlooked when it comes to the dedication they require.  From late nights writing news releases at her desk, to long hours in the station and basketball games in the television production trailer, Natalie has taken advantage of her opportunities to expand her knowledge and become an expert in every position. 

Her fellow Buzz members noticed her hard work and nominated her for the position of station manager.  Humbled, Natalie accepted the nomination and went on to secure the position.  However, the road to any highly regarded leadership position is never clear-cut.  Just like all of us, there were times when she wanted to quit.  There were times when life got in the way and made it hard to be as fully committed as she wanted to be.  Even in the face of adversity, Natalie overcame challenges and proved that passion prevails.  Sometimes it isn’t the overly gregarious person who gets noticed, but the one who puts in time and works quietly and diligently to achieve a goal. 


Her Campus: What positions have you had at The Buzz?

Natalie Kucko: I started my time with The Buzz as a news staffer at the beginning of my freshman year. I wrote my own news stories and read them live on the air once or twice each week. There was an opening for the assistant news director position at the end of the fall semester, so I applied and ended up getting the job. I was later promoted to chief news director during my sophomore year and I’ve worked there ever since.


Her Campus: How many hours a week do you dedicate to The Buzz?

Natalie Kucko: Every board member is required to attend at least six office hours per week, but I’ve kind of abused that rule. I spend so much time in the station that it has started to feel like a second home. 


Her Campus: How have your responsibilities changed from freshman year to now?

Natalie Kucko: As a news director, I’m in charge of overseeing our department and airing newscasts twice a day. I make edits to stories that the anchors write and then put them into a template for the live broadcast. I also contact a variety of campus organizations for studio interviews on occasion.


HC: Do you enjoy being a leader/mentor?

NK: I love being a leader for my staffers. I think the biggest reward for me is the improvement I’ve been able to see in every newscast over the years. I get to watch anchors build confidence in their capabilities and nothing can replace that.


HC: What will these new responsibilities as station manager mean for you?

NK: It’s definitely going to be a big change, but I couldn’t be more excited. I hope to represent the station in the way that it deserves. I want to be a leader for my board members and make sure staffers and DJ’s are just as enthusiastic as they have always been. I have some big shoes to fill from station managers in the past, but I’m confident that we will continue to grow as an organization. 


HC: What is it about news that interests you?

NK: I’ve always wanted to learn more about broadcasting and hopefully find a career in it. I want to be able to tell stories that make a difference to people. I think news has the ability to impact people in ways that nothing else can, and that’s something I want to be a part of. 


HC: What did it mean to you when you were nominated for the station manager position?

NK: To be honest, I was a little surprised when my name was called. I never seriously thought about running for the position until that moment, but I knew I had to go for it. The nomination made me realize that the work I’ve done in the past has meant something, and the honor of being elected was just an extra bonus. 


HC: What duties will you have now as station manager?

NK: I’ll be in charge of the station and will oversee every department. We have a talented and hard-working group of board directors and I’m optimistic about the incoming ones we will hire. I’ll be organizing events to help promote and support us.  The biggest priority is to welcome the new board directors and make sure that all departments run smoothly.


HC: What is your favorite part about working on The Buzz?

NK: The experience in itself is great, but (although it might sound cliché) I have to say that the friendships and people I’ve met along the way are the best part. I feel lucky to be a part of something that feels like family, and I can’t wait for the adventures ahead as station manager.