What factors contributed to you choosing your program(s)?
I’ve always been a creative individual. I grew up devouring novels and dreaming of becoming a writer. I never really took it seriously though. It was my dream as a child. But when it came to choosing my program, I was lost. I have a great passion in care and wanted to pursue social work. I applied to social work programs at different universities and the journalism program at UTSC. Eventually my decision came down to UTSC by chance, I literally flipped a coin and had no idea what to expect. I did know that I love writing, expressing myself and sharing ideas and that UTSC would help me do this effectively. I was also really keen on current events, so this program fit me. I was attracted to UTSC’s program because not only is it a specialist program, it’s also a joint program and has internships available. I knew this program would prepare me for my professional life.
Can you describe your program(s)? What is it actually like?
This program is tough. But that’s the nature of journalism and I love that the program doesn’t ignore it. The courses you take at UTSC are drastically different from the one’s you’ll take at Centennial. The university part turns you into a critical thinker, an analyst and a reader. You then take these skills and start your three-semester journey at college and your whole world is different. At Centennial you are technically a student, but you’re treated as journalist. This means you are always pitching, collaborating and chasing stories. The program also helps you find an internship within your preferred field of journalism, be it music, politics or fashion. Something admirable about this program is that it's being updated as you read this (since journalism is always changing.) As a student you learn industry tricks and tools from your professors and a wide variety of guest speakers. Being a part of this program has taught me how to be an effective leader, communicator, networker and collaborator.
What tips/advice can you provide to students just starting or considering this program(s)?
1) Manage your time and work hard. This is a demanding field and news doesn’t sleep, nor should journalists. When you begin your college part of this program, the scheduling really takes a toll on your personal life. As a young journalist, your schedule is dependent on your sources (that you’ll need for your stories) so you’ll always be juggling your time and theirs. It’s easy to prioritize your time before your sources, but doing so only puts of your work. Working part-time is possible but will be strenuous especially when you’re at Centennial. If you want to be successful in this program, manage your time, believe in your ability to produce quality content, work with your peers, editors and professors to create a seamless journey.
What will you do with your degree after graduation?
In my third year of this program I bought my first DSLR and since then have been really invested in photo and video journalism. One thing I really love about this program is that every student has the opportunity to explore their own interests and I have this program to thank for my passion in photo and video journalism. I am currently talking to my professors about potential media outlets to work with. Upon graduation, I plan on implementing all my storytelling and people skills with a focus on photo and video at a suited outlet.