My name is Karl born and bred in west Belfast, 21 years of age, in the near future I would like to build my career around the ICT industry particularly my dream job would be a software engineer also working with young people giving back to the community and to use my life experience to help and encourage younger generations for a better quality of life.

I am enrolled in the Cool Choices programme to bring myself outside my comfort zone and to develop and build my confidence for future employment and overall better quality of life.
What I’m looking to achieve after this process would be to build my confidence majorly which has been my downfall over recent years but I’m confident that this course will bring out my personality and make myself more confident for future job searches.

Strength in numbers

8 March 2016

Friday 4.3.16

Today we started off with jonny and caprice and listened back to aidan woods interview and worked together for a plan of attack on the interview how to structure it down to 5-6 mins that it needs to be for the air , we done this and I was left with the responsibility to sourly focus on this interview as it was the most important piece and hard hitting piece of our topic I worked on this all day and have made major progress in just one day and well get it completed on Monday ahead of plan.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Tania lavery from strength in numbers Facebook mental health support page which I have personally used to help me through hard times and this was an honour for me to do because she’s been through so much but at the same time is the most bubbliest person and so full of life I’ve ever meet this was a great experience not to mention I got to take charge in the studio for a while Steve left me to it must have knew I could take his job sooner or later…. we nailed Tania’s story and it was on point in what and where we wanted the interview to go this was great and the teams are excited get our hands dirty and get these last few days to count the most and pull this together and make it the best so far which we can do not a problem anyone who says otherwise is lying lol.

Inspiration to the nation

Thursday 3.3.16

Today we started of listening to the completed version of Jacks interview and the team was happy with the end result cutting it down to 3:50 mins from 15 mins is impressive for us, we all pulled together and got the job at hand down and need to take chance of every piece of time we have there as time is drawing close to the end of the task ahead.

We had aidan woods who was a survivor of a brutal sexual assault by two of his closest friends , first of all this guy is amazing for what he has been through he has such a positive mindset and has came on so much in so little time and has took a major mature approach and is determined to build walls and keep climbing over them he has shocked the nation of his brave actions threw his traumatic time over recent years and is truly emotional and brave young man coming into us and interviewed by caprice on such a delicate subject but so positive about life and how he’s making his journey to overcome his past which we as a team sat down and listened to his emotional rollercoaster he shared with us and it was breath taking how fare he’s came and his an inspiration to the nation

Interview breakage

Wednesday 2.3.16

Today we started the day of with me sitting down with the presenters Clare and Connor and listened in on jack grahams interview and planned a structure of what needs to be done what we thought to keep and not keep to really cut all the flaws out to make it sounds into a one story of his process this went well for the first interview to breakdown we all had similar views on what we needed to cut so we know had a organised structure typed out and structured around the show at this time we are on point feeling confident on the task set ahead .

We also sat down with Thomas and Liam making a plan on what needs to be done and I created a word document file on the network drive to record each plan of action for each individual audio file that is being edited this way we know what we’re doing ,what’s being done and what has been completed.

We finished on a high knowing what we have to do for the next day ahead of us noticing slowly but surely time is ticking and this broadcast is starting to take structure and purpose.

News is Gould

Wednesday 24.3.16

So today guys we had the absolute pleasure of meeting the head of department for the news team at cool fm Nigel gould,we discussed there award winning success in the last few years and he gave us an insight to the media and how the news buildings work each day, he has allot of experience in the media background where he is responsible for 17 news bulletins each day each being three minutes long which adds up to 109nper week yes I’m thinking the same that is allot of research and news how do they do it.

Nigel explained how cool fm is different from other radio stations and the recipe to success within the news team at cool fm they focus on local news stories only given in sourly there listeners what they want to hear short and sweet and straight to the point in whets going on in the northern Ireland area.

We then sat down and structured our broadcast and how we want the show to sound from our perspective and how it’s all going to come together best to be the best from how we handle certain subject matters down to hash tags and the name of the show one I live by each day “Grow through what you go through”.


Tuesday 1.3.16

Well today we split up into our individual teams as head of editing we grouped into 3 and Steve also showed us the structure and folders on how we are going to keep the work organised and safe this was confusing at start as we had some strong opinions which clashed a little but nothing to stress over we moved on and researched celebrity role models for the voxpops a bit of information and background research on why this person is a role model for that person.

We had the lovely misky interview Jack Graham a previous student from cool academy who is currently going threw his transgender transition and shared his story on how he got there and how he is so passionate about his story this was inspiring to see he looked so well you wouldn’t notice and he was a true diamond so strong and passionate about his inner self which appealed to a few individuals in our group and he’s a true role model for the lgbt community.

H4s and record

Monday 29.2.16

Today we learned how to use and record the h4s so the main man Steve turn bal he gave us a brief lesion on how to use them this was interesting to say the least, we worked on recording some voxpops for the show so we could start putting the whole process together and get some editing under our fingernails.

We arranged interviews on the different interviews for Tania ,jack,aidan,micheal and Ellen to lay a plan of action into place and selected who’s interviewing who for me I was interviewing Tania on her mental health which in a particular topic I am passionate about this was great I wanted to do this and from the start of this programme I would have shoved it on to someone else but not this time ,this is how I knew this course was helping me because this would been one of my biggest fears to do something like an interview on someone I didn’t know too well but I was determined and excited to do this !.

All guns blazing

Friday 26.2.16

Today is a very different day because Rebecca had the honour of asking me to be in the Sunday life which her and a couple other guys from the group and previous cohorts to tell my story on where I was and how I got there and where I am know with my life and I was touched that she had seen and noticed how engaged I was with the course so I agreed of course and we done the interview and it was hard to do but I see it as a big step in helping with my mental health pushing myself further and further outside my comfort zone and glad I took part in it she was amazing and so supportive of my whole role as an individual at cool academy for this and the other guys Steve and David I greatly appreciate and am taking full advantage of my time here and greatly enjoying it if I’m honest !.

News is Gould

Wednesday 24.3.16

So today guys we had the absolute pleasure of meeting the head of department for the news team at cool fm Nigel gould,we discussed there award winning success in the last few years and he gave us an insight to the media and how the news buildings work each day, he has allot of experience in the media background where he is responsible for 17 news bulletins each day each being three minutes long which adds up to 109nper week yes I’m thinking the same that is allot of research and news how do they do it.

We also brainstormed our voxpops questions for the intro, cool choices inspirations and at the end what are you most proud to overcome?
We scheduled what we are doing and who’s doing what in certain areas and we had David come into speak to us which was interesting on his own terms to hear his views on the medial background at cool academy/coolfm.

Whats all the hype about

Tuesday 23.2.16

Another day at cool fm we had the ceo of the hype factory Adam mcpeake come in and share his information with our group from how he started from borrowing school cameras and making skateboard video to now at 26 years old is doing videos for nearly every night club in Belfast shooting videos and interviews with the superstar Kevin hart , this is a massive jump in a number of years and is a good role model to shown that if you work hard and keep pushing to your goal that success is possible with hard work and motivation.

Also today we worked on our storyboard and discussed as a team who we wanted our broadcast to appeal and reach too and learned if you make a point back it up, overall we today we set plans and structure of how we are going to plan our radio broadcast and have a more detailed view of what we need to do.

Roles and departments



Today we were shown the studio 1 and given a task by David Corscadden to individually test our own voices for radio and had us read out our bios on the cool choices profiles ,this for me is majorly pushing me out of my comfort zone and testing me to my limits but I succeeded which is the main thing . we then sat down as a group and listened back to the audio files and picked positions for the main radio presenters we came to the conclusion Connor and Clare Hogarth are the set there positions as head presenters and gave each individual person a role they are interested in and I myself got chose as head of editing which I was surprised but grateful for the push ,we then chose our broadcast topic as “role models” in terms of the approach we are looking to get and see is young people in the community that do something that they don’t get the credit they deserve for the contribution to their community , despite my painful tooth ache this day was interesting we finally knew all hands on deck at this point in time.

Cool Airtime

Monday 1.2.16

This morning we were invited to join the cool breakfast team in a live studio while they were live on air this was able to give us an insight into how the radio business works , it was interesting to see how the presenters addressed their audience even if I had to get up and lose that solid hour in bed it was totally worth it not many people get that experience to sit in live with cool FM , Pete explained to the group how they present and make use of their various jingles between songs to keep listeners interested and tuned in , also was showed how they pre-record phones calls from listeners because it’s a live show they have to do this because of legal reasons encase someone rings up to act stupid and curse or decide to say something inappropriate that there target audience may be offended .

This afternoon we were set our tasks to stand in front of a camera while being recorded with the audience and discuss for two minutes long who inspires us and why they inspire us and also finish it off with a quote that relates to your subject , this for me was possibly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done as I’m real shy inside and have problems talking to groups because I have such little confidence in myself so I done it anyway and was the most nerve racking thing I’ve done since telling my life story at our GRIT Rey residential so I faced one of my biggest fears with a lot of encouragement from Steve and Rebecca who could tell this was going to be a problem for me .

The Mannnn

Friday 29.1.16

Let’s start of today’s post by saying we had the main man in charge of sales and sponsorships and promotions who gave us an insight into the three radio s history and facts also about his job role and what important roles and responsibilities around the company also about his job history as he has been in the media business for over 40 years and has worked for numerous amount of company’s all throughout the UK so as you can guess he has a lot of personal knowledge and compassions for the Bauer brand and company .

This afternoon we were set a side into different groups and we were giving a live brief task for us to compete and a chance to win pairs of tickets, so we were divided into three groups and were asked to think of a pitch to give to Simon Mann in chance to win prizes. I personally found this task hard to focus and follow through without actually having the group to work with or any folder home with us but also in a positive light I find it very interesting the company has gave us an opportunity like this to actually take part in real life briefs for cool FM .

Cohort reunion

Thursday 25.2.16

Today we started the day by listening to previous cohorts broadcasts in full and nitpicked ideas on how we would want our show to sound and also the negatives on some mistakes previous cohorts have made along the way ect, so we started with cohort 3 and there topic was body image which is a very true and interesting topic these days as everyone wants to look the best they possible can and this has had a major affect on social media as youse all know we live and breathe facebook ,twitter , instagram and how this affects us this day and age is simply one word CONFIDENCE ,social media has exploded with selfies ect seeing how models look on the web and affects one persons thinking that because simply someone has more likes on their picture than them they feel they can’t compare to maybe one person which is total brainwash ! We all are own individual person beauty is skin deep.

This body image was excellent good use of using professional model Rebecca McKinney for her view and experiences in body image and she has her saying beauty is skin deep which is a very strong and important impact to listeners coming from a fashion model herself .
We also heard cohort 4 broadcast on social media and they both link in so well that they nit picked from each other’s and could relate allot to each one from your everyday experiences and a good eye opener to society alone .

David Mccamond

Thursday 28.1.16

Today we had a visit from David Mccamond he discussed a more detailed overview of the history and how many listeners the three radio stations have per week of course cool FM being the most popular, we learned cool FM average 375,000 listeners per week this is based on listeners tuning in for lo0nger than 5 minutes at a time. David Mccamond is a very impressive young man at the age he is at now just 24 years of age and has earned his job title as deputy programming co-ordinator and that’s very impressive to hold a job title like that at such a young age and especially in such a big company, we learned the radios biggest competitor’s inside the uk and also outside the uk the time he spent with us was very knowledgeable.

Health and safety


Florence Ambrose

Today we had a visit from Florence Ambrose who is trained in health and safety and is fully qualified fire marshal. Florence discussed the rules and regulations and discussed a bit about her background in the company also she discussed the topics of charity work, she has been involved in various amount of countries such as Bulgaria, Africa and many other disadvantage areas around the world to raise money and awareness for young children and their families and no the main charity cool FM work alongside with is cash for kids.

Broadcast topic
Today in the brainstorming topics we discussed possible topics and narrowed them down to three possible subjects addiction, mental health and unsung heroes , the three topics I think personally you can cover in one wide subject and touch on each person’s opinions , some of us personally suffer from these three topics or have been in situations regarding these which is why we have found it hard to pick the broadcast topic because each one of us debated against the other topics but I found the problem was we are all very strong opinionated so we got nowhere closer to choosing our broadcast topic.

start of something productive

Tuesday 26.1.16

Today we were showing around the studio and shown different departments of the radio station including cool FM, downtown country and also downtown radio, we met different staff from various departments around the building which includes the sales department and also sponsorship and promotion which is run by the Simon Mann which is the head of both departments. We also were showing around the programming department and were able to talk to the different staff members and get there view on the company and this varies from the producers like Rebecca McKinney and Steve turnbal and the head of the department is a guy called Stuart Robinson this was very interesting to hear the different views of the staff. We moved on to the engineering department where we were introduced to William which was interesting and from my point of view was the most interesting department considering this is the field I am most interested in for my career choice as hearing what he had to say as he has years of experience in that field and showing how everything works within the radio station, we were shown the live studios and Steve showed us how different things work around the studio for example how they discuss the topics addressed on the radio like the news and if any breaking news was shown they have their own TV tuned in on live news so they are constantly keeping their listeners up to date as they are one of the best broadcasting teams in the UK especially their news team which have won various awards to prove it, Steve was also a pleasure and great help telling us the history of the building and pointing out different rules and regulations.
We then were showed our photos which were taken last week at our photo shoot and I have to say the photographer was excellent and done a great job , even if I didn’t like mines personally but these will be shown on our online blogs on our cool choices profiles.
In the morning we were introduced to Luke gill who discussed the introduction to our blogs and discussed the layout of the website and how to access different departments and showed us how to post our blogs and the different pros and cons of social media and how dangerous it can be for your future employment for example employers will do an online check on yourself which can be risky if you post any negative tweets, posts or photos this can affect your chances for any employment you may seek.
The group then met Matthew Murdock who was a student in the same programme and came from the princes trust for a five day course and managed to find himself full time employment within cool FM and showed us hard work does pay off if you have the motivation and don’t give up on your dreams so work hard and you will meet the right people in time just be patient and impress while you’re here.