Jack O’Marra broadcasts for WRIU during the men’s basketball game. Photo by Momolu Akoiwala.
Jack O’Marra, a senior communications studies major at the University of Rhode Island, has quite a busy schedule.
Aside from being a student, O’Marra also acts as the general manager at WRIU 90.3 FM, which is the student run radio station. Additionally, he is the visit enhancement coordinator for the URI tour guide team. O’Marra is also a sports intern at NBC Channel 10.
“I’ve been watching sports since I could basically walk,” O’Marra said, “I played throughout middle school, high school and I realized my size. My athletic ability isn’t going to get me to playing professionally.”
This incited O’Marra to realize, “If I can’t play sports professionally, what if I still got into talking about sports. Late in my high school career I got into sports broadcasting.”
O’Marra said that in high school he would go to local hockey games and use his phone to record. Although he did not actually broadcast this to anyone, O’Marra said it was enjoyable nonetheless.
In order to follow his passion, O’Marra made broadcasting an important aspect of his college search.
“It was a big part of my college search, looking for a college that had a good academic program in regards to broadcasting and communications but also a club and organization that I could get involved in,” O’Marra said.
O’Marra found that club at URI. “I started at the radio station freshman year, in the sports department,” he said. “I moved up from there to become the sports department director.”
O’Marra held the position of Sports Communication Director, which communicates to the general public that WRIU has a sports broadcasting department. He also worked with the radio station’s executive board.
Eventually, O’Marra was able to earn the position of general manager for WRIU. The general manager’s job is to oversee the departments, from programming to engineering to marketing. As general manager, he also oversees budgeting expenses.
However, to O’Marra, it is about more than just that. “My job is to be a supporter, reinforcer to everything that people have been doing since before I got there,” said O’Marra.
All that would be enough for an average college student, but O’Marra is not that. As the visit enhancement coordinator for the URI Tour Guide Team, he is in charge of training and scheduling tour guide “navigators.”
“Those are the students that work in the Welcome Center to greet visitors, check them in for tours, give them parking passes, give them directions,” he said.
It is O’Marra’s job to make sure that these navigators give those who are touring the campus a good experience.
“[O’Marra] has been a great mentor, friend and boss,” sophomore Emily Haz said. “I enjoy being a navigator, and he made the navigator training process was quick and painless.”
O’Marra is also in charge of training and coordinating the information session presenters.
But again, O’Marra’s true passion is sports, which is evident in his third extracurricular.
“I am a sports intern for NBC Channel 10,” O’Marra explained. “I basically help out the sports reporters there. I go in a couple times a week, and I help them edit and produce the reels and content for the 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. news. I usually cut the clips that are shown.”
It is clear that O’Marra has a lot on his plate, but he likes his busy schedule.
“You have to want to do it all, if you don’t like doing what you’re doing, you just can’t succeed,” he said.