Watch TV Critic Eric Deggans' interview with Dustin and Aggi Ashagre on NPR Extra.

Hey. My name is Dustin and I’m a producer for Weekend All Things Considered with Michel Martin. I pitch, write, and produce stories for air. I’m also the backup director for the show. I started at NPR as an intern for the National Desk in 2013.

How did you become an intern?

I started at NPR as the National Desk intern right out of college. I applied to the internship after only having one other internship at a media organization. With very, very little experience in journalism, I was surprised that I got a call back for the National Desk internship.

What was your internship experience like?

After interning at the National Desk, I started temping on the Operations Desk to understand the technical side of public radio. Although coming to Weekend All Things Considered from the operations Desk was a big change, I knew I wanted to create original content while still focusing on the technical side of the radio. After only eight months of working as a producer, I began my training as a director.  This was really exciting to me because not only do you get to direct the host and the flow of the show, but you also get to pick out all the music in the show. 

What was the best part of your experience?

While I was at the Operations Desk, I received helped from a colleague who gave me audio to practice cutting, mixing, and fading. He would go over it with me and talk to me about how I could improve. It made me feel really empowered and reassured me that I could successfully work on a show. I always felt like I could do it, but having someone work with me one-on-one really gave me the confidence to actually do it.

Follow Dustin: @dtdesoto