“We Are UC” highlights the people who thread the fabric of the Utica College community. These profiles are written from the perspective of the subjects themselves.
Story by Whitney Morris, photo contributed by Malik Gayle
My name is Malik Gayle, and I was born and raised in Brooklyn. I chose Utica College because I’ve always been interested in the creative and visual aspect of things.
While I was looking through the programs offered, I knew I was interested in writing and storytelling. I knew then that journalism would give me the opportunity to pursue different routes in both written and visual aspects of media. Upon coming to visit, I happened to walk by the radio station and immediately saw myself working there.
I didn’t really know what to expect when I came here, but I knew I wanted to spend some time away from the city, to grow both emotionally and skillfully. If I stayed in NYC, close to family and friends, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Coming to Utica has helped me become more focused and realize that I have to do things for me.
The one thing that makes UC unique in my eyes is the fact that there are times when I’ve done things on campus that I thought would remain in a bubble and no one else would know, or even think about it. Yet, there have been those times that I would talk to a professor and they’ll bring up something that I’ve done that they’ve seen and compliment me for it. In addition, professors know when certain students are struggling and will find way to help.
Throughout my entire college career, I’ve worked with the school radio station, WPNR. I started out as a first year student, but I’ve always been a fan of various forms of music. If I’m not interacting with someone or doing something important, I put my headphones and listen to music.
The radio station, gives me the opportunity to nerd-out about a record on air, and I then try to find ways off air to get people interested in the same record.
I fortunately got a job with WPNR my first year even after the applications were closed. I met with the program director at the time, but after he asked me a few questions he offered me an interview for a completely different position than what I was interested in. I have been working my way up since.
A lot of the skills and experience I’ve learned from UC came from doing things through different programs, classes and working at the radio station. If I knew what I knew now in terms of everything that I would be able to do here, I would’ve jumped at opportunities and gotten more involved. But I’m happy with where I’m at now; I feel that I am as involved as I can be.
When it comes to time management, it’s something that I had to learn over the years. During my first year, I spent too much time at the radio station. Being passionate about your interest is never the problem, but it was getting in the way of my classes and my grades. This is when I had to take a step back and remind myself that at the end of the day, I’m here for school.
That realization helped me to manage my time a little better. I spend most weekends now catching up on work, and when I feel myself wiring out I’ll do something to give my mind a break, catch a breather and then I’ll rest.