MavRadio helps UNO senior discover his passion


McKenzy Parsons

After transferring from school to school, Ben Phillips found his home at UNO. Phillips is a Journalism and Media Communications major with a concentration in Creative Media and a minor in Business Administration. He is excited to walk the stage in May 2019.

He started college at Benedictine College in Kansas and eventually transferred to UNO, where he was an undeclared major. He was told by multiple people to try out radio because he has a “great radio voice.”

“I decided to take a radio class and I fell in love with it,” Phillips said. “I was having so much fun on my radio show being able to say (almost) anything behind the mic.”

Jodeane Brownlee, MavRadio Faculty Advisor and radio professor, saw a lot of potential in Phillips and wanted him to join MavRadio. However, Phillips was planning to go back to Benedictine College for a business degree. After some deliberation, he decided to get his degree in communications and learned that the communications department at Benedictine was very small.

He transferred to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for one semester before returning to UNO, where Brownlee welcomed him with open arms into MavRadio. After four months at MavRadio, he was promoted from to Utility, where helped with programming including uploading promos and liners. Today, he is the program director.

“Radio, as of right now, is my career field of choice,” Phillips said. “MavRadio has helped me not only advance my expertise in radio, but in other aspects which would help for really any creative field such as video production, social media and sales.”

His friendships from MavRadio will last a lifetime as well, he said. “We laugh, joke and hangout together, and it’s a family and club that I can bond with,” Phillips said.

As if going to school and MavRadio weren’t enough work, Phillips has a slew of other jobs he does as well. He just left Hollywood Candy, where he was a crew lead, for an overnight job at the new Amazon Warehouse. He does freelance photography and he offers to fix electronics for cheap. His big jobs are being promotions assistant at iHeartMedia and being the producer for The Omaha News.

Justin Kies, a senior in journalism and media communications, works with Phillips on The Omaha News and he thinks Phillips is doing a great job.

“He has the most nerve-wracking job in being producer,” Kies said. “Yet he seems to always maintain a level head while working at a high level.”

Phillips said that he wanted to become producer for The Omaha News because it was something different.

“Having the ability to be able to control the newscast and what people would see was something that I enjoyed,” Phillips said. “It was like putting puzzle pieces together.”

Phillips gets to be completely hands-on with the newscast and he has become a little more “tech savvy and creative” because of this show.

Students really love working with Phillips throughout this semester and Kies thinks Phillips has great potential ahead of him.

“He always creates a good, comfortable working atmosphere for himself and other students when producing big projects such as The Omaha News,” Kies said.

Phillips sees great potential in himself as well. When asked what he sees himself doing in five years, he said, “Hopefully voice acting and good enough to the point where I can start a business voice acting and putting together media like videos, photos, and audio for others.”

As of right now, though, he plans to make his way up the ladder in radio.