Rashaud Foster found his voice at UWM.
A new graduate in Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies, Foster has his own podcast, “Raw Lingo,” focusing on entertainment and pop culture. He’s also had two radio internships – at 88.9 Radio Milwaukee and KISS-FM.
While he’s tended to focus on audio as his medium for telling stories, UWM has helped him make sure he has a well-rounded skill set, he said, with classes in writing, editing, broadcasting, social media and other areas of communication. Foster, who graduated in May, has a minor in communication.
“In this industry, you have to be well-rounded,” he said. “You can’t just be focused on one thing, so I wanted to make sure I’m versatile and hitting all my targets.”
Foster became interested in journalism while growing up in Chicago. He and his family moved to Milwaukee, and he finished high school in Wauwatosa. Early on in high school, he decided he wanted to be a journalist and cover the entertainment world.
“Growing up, I loved watching and listening to interviews. I always loved the award shows with the red carpets, and the aspect of a reporter being a storyteller. I knew this was a career I wanted to be in.”
UWM a good fit
An opportunity to job shadow Channel 4’s Vince Vitrano when Foster was a senior in high school cemented his decision. Vitrano and other professionals he talked to suggested he look at UWM for further education in the field.
UWM turned out to be a good fit, Foster said.
“UWM has taught me everything I need to be successful in my field. It just was overall a good fit for me. I looked at other colleges before UWM, but overall, I’m glad about the choice that I made to come here.”
JAMS instructors Jessica McBride, Jane Hampden Daley, Rachel Jurek and Jessie Garcia were particularly strong mentors, Foster said. “I was able to take a class with all of them. They’ve all had experience with different areas of journalism.”
“I love the interactions with professors,” he added. “They’re really good with helping and networking. They want to see you succeed.”
During his junior year, he did an internship at KISS-FM the first semester of his junior year, starting with social media and then moved to an on-air role. “That’s when I knew I wanted to be an on-air personality.” The first part of his senior year, he had to opportunity to intern at 88.9 Radio Milwaukee.
Podcast born in JAMS lab
When Foster decided to start his own podcast, he did research on streaming platforms and figured out how to get his show up and running from the JAMS lab.
“I wanted to do something that represented me and what I like to do in journalism. I wanted to perfect my craft and grow.”
His podcast, “Raw Lingo,” is low key and conversational, bringing in Foster’s own experiences as well and pop and celebrity culture.
“I wanted it to be entertaining, so I do a lot of lifestyle scenarios, beauty tips and essentials as well as a little bit of celebrity news because everybody likes to be informed what is going on with the celebrities,” Foster said. “I’m loving the feedback I’m getting.”
He’s not sure exactly where he wants to go after graduation, but said he wants to start in radio and maybe move into television. And, even though it’s not his favorite way of storytelling, Foster said he’s comfortable with doing news stories also.
Aiming for big things
He’s hoping to find an opportunity in Milwaukee, then in a larger market. “I like Milwaukee, but I’m from a big city and I feel like I have a lot to offer there, so I do see myself leaving eventually.”
New streaming services have made it much easier for podcasters and other entertainers to find an audience, he added.
“Technology is one great thing. You can drop a record or anything you want on a SoundCloud or iTunes to get out to a greater audience.”
Whatever happens or wherever he goes in his professional career, he’s happy he got his start at UWM, Foster said.
“UWM surely changed my life for the better, and I am just thankful for everything the school and my department has offered me being a student here.”