features Pioneer 90.1 student host

by markjohnson on February 29, 2012

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” This desire to be successful can lead people to places they wouldn’t expect to go. This was the case for Northland Community & Technical College student Britt Duffey.

Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs, she has challenged herself to be successful in all that she does. In true entrepreneurial spirit, she made a move from Phoenix to Thief River Falls two weeks before the fall semester began to jumpstart her education.

And when you don’t know a soul in the area besides family, what do you do to immerse yourself in the community? If you are Northland student Britt Duffey, you become a DJ for Pioneer 90.1.

Music has always been an important part of her life and she appreciates all kinds of music, especially alternative stuff people don’t hear all the time. “I really enjoy broadening people’s horizons when it comes to music,” mentioned Duffey. “I had no radio background whatsoever. I heard an ad about becoming a DJ and wrote the name down, I pondered it for like two weeks before I went there to see if they needed any help of any kind. I had no idea I was going to become a DJ but within the week they had me on the air,” said Duffey.

She has been with Pioneer 90.1 for nearly three months and is enjoying the freedom to share different music that is coming to the area with the community. “The station allows me so much freedom to play what I think is important, I might play a YouTube clip from Family Guy, a lesser known artist, or Rage Against the Machine. It’s up to you what gets played when you are working and I really enjoy that.”

Duffey, who is originally from Bismarck, moved around quite a bit when she was younger living in locales as far away as South Africa and attending high school in Phoenix. Before attending Northland, Duffey along with several family members opened up a chain of boutique stores. She was working 50 to 60 hours per week keeping up with the demands of being a business owner in several different locations. After this, she moved back to Phoenix and her mom and sister were living in Thief River Falls. After a period of time in Phoenix she decided she needed to be back in school. After careful deliberation, she decided to make the move to attend Northland’s Thief River Falls campus.

“It’s just a nice town with nice people. Plus I love the water.” added Duffey. “It was a bit of culture shock moving from Phoenix to Thief River but I enjoy the town and what it has to offer. One of my favorite parts is the great farmers markets,” she said. The town isn’t the only thing she likes; she has found Northland to be a great fit for her educational needs.

“It’s the smallest school I have ever been to but that has its advantages too. The teachers are very personable and willing to help with anything. Plus, this school made it easier for me to get back into the swing of things since I took some time off from school and it would’ve been tougher going to a bigger college. I also really like the advantage of having multiple campuses,” said Duffey. She plans to complete her studies at Northland and transfer to UND for the Entrepreneurship program. After completing her education she has visions of starting up an Ecommerce business as well as a medical equipment sales business.

“I’d like to stay at Pioneer 90.1 throughout college, both at Northland and while at UND,” mentioned Duffey. “I would encourage anyone to give it (Pioneer 90.1) a try because you don’t need any experience, I am proof of that. They are so flexible and it’s a lot of fun. You could do a show or you and a friend could do a show together, there is just so much freedom. Plus it looks really good on your resume,” stated Duffey. “All you have to do is go into the station and talk to Mark and he’ll help you with the rest,” she concluded.

“Action may speak louder than words but not nearly as often,” according to Mark Twain. However, Britt Duffey shows that actions combined with words can be a pretty powerful combination for success. She is a example of the entrepreneurial spirit that is strong at Northland Community & Technical College.


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