Thinking On Her Feet: Jackie Perez’s Story

Photo by David Lopez

Photo by David Lopez

As far back as she can remember, Jackie Perez has loved sports. She grew up playing basketball, volleyball and baseball, and when she was just five years old, she started to dance. While they’re good for keeping fit and teaching teamwork, the thing that’s kept Jackie coming back to athletics all these years is their unpredictability.

“The thing I’ve always loved most about sports is that they teach you to adapt and think on your feet,” she says. Things can change in a moment, and you need to be ready to roll with the punches.

That passion for sports meant that when Jackie came to the University of Guelph-Humber to take media studies, she had her eyes set on a career in sports media. A few years later, now a host for a RogersTV show and the in-game host for the Toronto Argonauts, Jackie uses what she learned from sports and her time at UofGH, staying on her toes as she makes live news.

Jackie started at UofGH in 2004 and quickly got involved with student media. When she wasn’t in class or helping produce the student newspaper, she found time to become an orientation leader and helped first-year students transition to university life. When she graduated in 2008, Jackie was hired by UofGH as a recruitment officer and travelled across Ontario telling the university’s story to high school students. After that, she worked for the Mississauga News, and a few years later, Jackie saw an opportunity to take another step towards combining her love of sports and media and applied to be an Argonauts cheerleader.

“Since I got that job, I haven’t looked back,” she says. Year after year as a cheerleader, Jackie took on more responsibility. After a successful first season, Jackie was made a squad captain, after that, she stepped up to run their social media accounts.

 “It was taking the foundations I learned at UofGH and using them to build the cheerleaders’ brand,” she says. “At UofGH I developed an eye for taking pictures, learned how to write a caption and to think about what to post to attract people and build a community. Because of my media education, I knew how to produce a video, shoot and edit it. I hadn’t done it before for the Argos, but I love to take on a challenge.”

Around that time, Jackie also started to host a Rogers TV show called InSauga Live, spending more time producing broadcast work. When she had spent more time in front of the camera, Jackie was given the chance to step up to the role of In-Game Host. Now, on game days Jackie interviews fans and keeps the audience energized between plays.

While she’s happy to be in the sports media role she’s always wanted, Jackie says one of the most gratifying parts of the job doesn’t happen inside the stadium or in front of the camera. When the game isn’t on, Jackie volunteers with the Argonauts’ Huddle Up Bullying Prevention Program, going into Toronto schools to talk about the importance of self-esteem and the effects of bullying.

“It’s one of the reasons I joined the Argos. I like to get involved with the community and give back,” she says. “There’s a lot of talk now about bullying, but kids don’t always know how to act, so it’s nice to have a chance to help and inspire them.”

         “There’s a lot of talk now about bullying, but kids don’t
             always know how to act, so it’s nice to have a chance to
             help and inspire them.”

One of the parts of Huddle Up she’s proudest of is their program talking with girls about bullying and teasing. While people often think of a bully as someone big and tough who might steal lunch money, Jackie says that for girls, especially in grades 6-8, it takes a different shape.

“Girls are more prone to social bullying, where they’ll tease, spread rumors or exclude someone else,” she says. “When you’re 11 or 12, you’re still trying to figure out who you are and it’s important to show girls that they can be a different way.”

Whether she’s in the classroom, the TV studio or at the stadium, Jackie is using the skills she’s developed from her media education and a lifetime of sports to adapt to new situations and give back to the community.

“I get an opportunity to be a role model,” she says. “I get a chance to change the conversation.”

 

With permission of the University of Guelph-Humber.  Learn more about Media Studies at UofGH

No “Usual Days” for this Publicist: Meghan’s story

By Abigayle Walker, WorkStory Ambassador at University of Ottawa

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   Meghan holding a baby python while hosting a press junket for a show called Python Hunters.      

Meghan holding a baby python while hosting a press junket for a show called Python Hunters.

 

Meghan Hardy works as a publicist at Proper Television, one of Canada’s largest production companies.  Proper Television is responsible for producing numerous television series including Master Chef Canada, Storage Wars Canada, Four Weddings Canada, and Canada’s Worst Driver, to name a few.

For Meghan, no day is a usual day. Every day is different, which is exactly why she says she loves her job. The majority of her days are spent on the sets themselves –taking the press on set visits, facilitating media interviews, overseeing photo shoots, doing media training with the stars and ensuring that shows she is working on are receiving the most and best publicity possible.  When she isn’t on set, Meghan is in the office creating communication and social media plans, writing cast biographies, setting up photo shoots, and pitching interviews to the media. She explains that even though every day is fun, the job can also be also stressful and challenging. It forces her to think quickly on her feet, but she says that it makes her job that much more interesting.  She says she is constantly learning. 

Not only does Meghan love what she does, she also loves the people with whom she works, describing them as “some of the most creative and brilliant people in the entertainment industry”.  Meghan says she looks forward to work every day with people she loves being around.

As awesome as Meghan’s job is, it did not come to her without years of hard work.  Meghan began with an undergraduate degree in Media Studies/Public Relations and a Diploma in Public Relations from University of Guelph-Humber.  After graduating, she accepted an internship at Rogers Media with the publicity team under their television umbrella which includes City, OMNI Television, OLN, and FX Canada. Eventually, Rogers hired her as a public relations coordinator. From there, Meaghan was able to move into her current position at Proper. Meghan says that it was the combination of her 10 years of experience in the entertainment industry, networking, and creating good working relationships that helped land her current role at Proper Television. 

Although Meghan says she learned a lot of fundamentals from her post-secondary education, it was her experience that taught her much of what she knows about public relations. Her advice to others is to network, intern, and volunteer as much as possible!  She also advises those entering the communication industry to try to get a taste of several different sectors (government, entertainment, corporate, non-profit) before deciding which one seems the best fit.

Making Connections! Erika Faust’s Communication Story

By Erin Annis, WorkStory Ambassador at University of Guelph

One of the most inspiring quotes I have heard in regards to careers is “You’re most powerful where your passion is.” Erika Faust has followed this guiding light to grasp her personal career success.

Erika is currently the Corporate and Internal Communications Assistant at Toronto Community Housing.  She is also a freelance writer and editor.  The path to follow her dreams began with her love for reading and writing.  Throughout school – at the University of Guelph-Humber – she had recognized her passion for writing and began editing her friend’s papers (even later on, editing her friend’s university thesis!).   Recognizing her love for editing, Erika became the go-to editor for her friends and family for whom she reviewed reports, resumes and more.

Her writing and editing skills became a key part of Erika’s career journey during her fourth year at Guelph-Humber, where she took Media Studies. During that year, she landed an internship in the Advertising department of her hometown newspaper, the London Free Press.  Her boss recognized such talent in Erika that when she left to start her own communications firm, she hired Erika right away to do freelance writing and editing for her (and has been doing so ever since!)

Prior to working at Toronto Community Housing, Erika worked both as a staff writer for the Fanshawe College newspaper “Interrobang” as well as an Internal Communications Coordinator at Goodlife Fitness.  These roles gave her integral skills pertaining to her career.  Her job as a staff writer allowed her to gain management experience once she was promoted to editor, managing a team of 20 students.  Her experience at Goodlife was a refreshing change as it involved duties such as administering the intranet site and even some event planning. 

The game changer for Erika was the big move from London to Toronto after her husband found employment there.  Although this involved “abandoning” the place she grew up in and jumping into a situation of uncertainty, Erika viewed this experience as a “big adventure”.  During this time, she didn’t lose sight of her passion and continued to do freelance writing as she searched for a new job. 

Periods of unemployment are a major struggle for young people.  As Erika put it “It’s scary not knowing if you’re going to be able to find a job, and it can be really disheartening.”  Here is what she focused on to combat this period of unemployment:

• Networking with people with interesting jobs. “I set up informational interviews to get advice from different people. We chatted about my options and they told me what they thought I could do to shine as a job seeker.”

• Continuing education. “I tried to use the Duolingo app to learn French – I didn’t get very far with it, but I did practice every day during the summer! I also attended several communications-focused webinars and took an online class in WordPress through Udemy.”

• Doing some freelance and part-time work. “It kept my skills sharp, expanded my writing portfolio and gave me something to talk about in interviews.”

• Volunteering. “I signed up to help out at some local events, and I became a regular volunteer at a local museum. Volunteering helped me get acquainted with my new city, and I got to meet lots of like-minded people – people who just like to help out and get involved.”

Starting September 2015, Erika began her current communications role with Toronto Community Housing.  One of the most rewarding parts of her job is the non-profit environment.  “Toronto Community Housing serves about 6 percent of the population in Toronto.  I really like knowing I am part of an organization that helps so many people.”

Erika’s key to success?  Making connections!

“My boss during my London Free Press internship gave me my first paid writing and editing gig. Connections I made while working at Fanshawe College have hooked me up with freelance work. A reporter I met while attending an event in 2013 eventually became a managing editor at Metro newspaper in Toronto and gave me a part-time copy editor job. My mom – who is truly a master networker – has introduced me to some really fabulous people who gave me a ton of insight and helped prepare me for future job interviews.”

Reaching out can be the most difficult, yet beneficial, move that you can make to enhance your career- but it is 100% recommended.

“If you see someone on LinkedIn who works at a company you admire in a role you’d love, reach out to them! It may seem a little awkward at first, but I promise, it gets easier every time you do it. People are usually flattered when you ask them for advice, and they often want to help you out – maybe their company isn’t hiring, but maybe they know another great place that needs someone with your exact skill set. Even if the connection doesn’t help you find a job, it can be a really valuable learning opportunity.”

The ability to put yourself out there is integral for making the best out of your career journey.  Erika is an exemplary model having followed her passion, staying open minded and continually making important career connections. 

Francesca Di Roma’s Love of Education

By Emma Kushnir, WorkStory Ambassador at Western University

Francesca Di Roma’s career began about a year and a half ago, when she started working as an Office Administrator for the Joint Apprenticeship Council (JAC) based in Bolton, Ontario. After finishing a Bachelor of Applied Science in Psychology at the University of Guelph-Humber, and a Bachelor of Education at York University, she found a career that she loves. She began working with apprentices as a Work Study student at Humber College’s Centre for Trades and Technology. Initially, she worked as a Front Desk Assistant and handled the majority of the general inquiries about their apprenticeship programs. After graduating from Guelph-Humber, the Joint Apprenticeship Council approached her and offered her a position working with them since - as she puts it – “I was so familiar with the steps of an apprenticeship”.

How best to explain Francesca’s work at the Joint Apprenticeship Council?  She works with apprentices in the electrical trade – individuals who working in their field and on the path to becoming licensed electricians.  Francesca is available to answer any questions regarding their apprenticeships. She explains that “a big part of the trade is safety, which is why I am also responsible for scheduling apprentices for several mandatory safety classes throughout their apprenticeship.”  

When asked what she loves most about her job, Francesca notes that it combines her administrative work experience and skills with her passion for education.  “The purpose of the JAC is to recruit, select, assess, counsel, and educate electrical apprentices in the Greater Toronto Area. Through an annual intake, we find candidates best suitable for an electrical apprenticeship. The basic breakdown of an intake includes an application process, aptitude test, and final interviews.”   The JAC’s most recent intake was in June of 2015 and consisted of 950 applicants – of whom only 150 were selected!  Francesca shares, “I really enjoy being a part of this unique process and continue to learn from it every single day I go to work.”

Francesca has wanted to be a teacher for as long as she could remember and was determined to get her Bachelor of Education. She explains that, upon graduating from university “I knew that I had to be patient as I wait to be on a [teaching] supply list. Until then, I told myself that if I couldn’t have my dream job right away, I would at least want a career in something I enjoy. That’s exactly how I feel about working at the JAC.” Her biggest decision in the process of getting to where she is today involved committing to a full-time job rather than taking time to continue to volunteer in schools. “The way I see it, I am still dealing with students, which is relevant experience and I love every second!”

Francesca’s advice to anyone trying to find a job is straightforward and upbeat.

 “Never give up on your dream career.  Rather than sitting at home waiting for your big break, spend time doing something that you enjoy to keep your spirits up and your attitude always positive!” 

Twists and Turns to a Dream Job: Sabrina’s Story

By Michelle Doyle, WorkStory Ambassador at Western University

If I told you that Sabrina Silveira is the Alumni Coordinator in the Advancement & Alumni Relations office at Humber College would you have the faintest idea what that means?   

As Sabrina told me “I know many people don’t know what alumni means, nor would they know what the role of an Alumni Coordinator would entail. It’s not an insult…it’s one of the many reasons I have a job!  For those who are unfamiliar with what ‘alumni’ is, it’s just a fancy Latin word for graduate.  In short, I act as the middleman that connects Humber back to our grads.” 

Sabrina’s role varies from day-to-day.  She describes her daily tasks as a set of on-going projects “from graphic design, social media management, copy writing and editing, to event planning and relationship building”.  Sabrina is always “kept on her toes and is able to tap into her creativity” with such a varying, multifaceted job. This is also the reason she cannot pinpoint a favourite part of her job.

Sabrina can, however, identify an essential part of her job - her manager, whose continual support has gotten her to where she is today.  She emphasizes the importance of having a superior “who truly cares for you, looks out for you and appreciates all that you do”.  She adds that most of us are working for the majority of our lives and would all have mental breakdowns without a strong support system around us. Sabrina feels that without this healthy, supportive relationship that she has with her manager, she wouldn’t be able to do all the things that she loves working on today. So, however “strange” it may seem to have a manager be one of the primary individuals you lean on for support, those relationships may be the most important ones, not only for your career, but for your happiness.

So how did Sabrina get here – to the job of her dreams?  Well, her journey started at the University of Guelph-Humber, where she studied media and communications.  In her final year of the program, she landed a position with a student travel agency in Toronto as her internship requirement for her program. Sabrina   isn’t exaggerating when she says “this is where I really began my career” as after only a month into the internship, she was offered a full-time position as a Production Designer!  “In this role I focused largely on designing collateral for the company, as well as writing blogs, monitoring social media, and - one of my favourite projects - designing our destination staff uniforms!”  Needless to say, Sabrina really enjoyed working at this agency and felt that she was really excelling at her career.

However, a year and a half into the new job, she was “faced with one of life’s upsets”. This influenced her decision to get a new job. She wanted to work close to home which made job hunting even more of a challenge than it already was. Sabrina describes the job search process as “possibly the worst thing a new graduate can go through”.  She explains that she felt worthless and felt that everything she had worked for was all for nothing in the eyes of potential employers.  She wasn’t even getting callbacks for jobs for which she was sure she was over-qualified.  After over a hundred job applications, Sabrina finally heard back from one.  It was nothing fancy, but it was a paid position related to her field.


“Whether you believe it or not, there will always be one specific experience in your life (if not more!)  that will change your perspective completely. This job was it for me. To say accepting this position was the worst thing I could have done is an understatement. I will tell this story again and again until I lose my voice, because I know there are others out there that may be in the same situation I was in, and I only wish I can provide some hope and encouragement to them.”  Her first week on the job consisted of coffee runs and cleaning up the lunchroom after people ate - all without the presence of her mysterious manager. To make matters worse, she caught a cold after the first few days but - although feeling horrible- she forced herself to come to work.  But that’s not all. Her HR manager actually phoned her explaining how she was disrupting her colleagues by coughing and sneezing. They feared she was contagious, making her feel alienated and as if she “should have been quarantined”.  This dreadful first week was followed by months of crying alone in the car during lunch breaks and feeling “completely disregarded as a human being”.  So why did she go through this? Well, she didn’t want to quit. She felt that she owed it to herself to push through it. In fact, it wasn’t until her parents begged her to quit that she really took a step back and analyzed her life.

On a Tuesday morning last year, Sabrina received an email from her past manager, blaming her for something she had nothing to do with. His words made her choke up until she couldn’t even breathe. She scheduled an emergency meeting with her HR manager who said there was nothing she could do for Sabrina and that the way she was being treated was her own problem.  Sabrina quit right then and there.  I know, I know. Good for her!!

After that experience, Sabrina started seeing life very differently. “I started to realize that there are two types of people in this world – the type of person who will respect you and the type of person who never will. We’re only on this earth for a finite period of time – why sacrifice your life and mental health working for people who – no matter what – only look down on you? I value my life too much to ever let that happen again.”

This time around on the job search, Sabrina was smart about where she applied. She nailed down the positions that she knew she would be happy in, rather than applying everywhere. Of course, still no replies.   So, she reached out to her professors, deans, old managers, her mentors (“which is probably the best piece of advice I can give anyone”, she says). She explains that she finally didn’t feel alone and had a lot of support from these individuals.  Luckily, a position had opened up in her old department -  a position that mimicked exactly what she wanted in a career.  “It was fate! My previous manager called me in for an interview and here I am today.  I’ve never been happier” 

If you’re gong to take anything away from Sabrina’s story, it’s that you should listen to yourself and make sure you are doing what makes you happy.

Also, keep in contact with your mentors!

From Graduation to Career: Madeleine’s (Scary & Exciting!) Story

My name is Madeleine Laforest. In January of this year, less than two years after my graduation from the Media Studies program at the University of Guelph-Humber, I secured a position as the newest and youngest member of Scholastic Canada’s Marketing Division, as the Marketing and Publicity Coordinator. Working in a four-person marketing team at the national level, my responsibilities include the creation of catalogues, securing events and publicity for our authors, and taking care of our promotional materials.  I am both honoured and excited beyond belief to embark in a role I love and for a company that shares my values in education and the promotion of creative expression.

My journey between graduation and full-time career was one of the scariest and most exciting times yet! It is a tough job market out there and discouraging at times, especially in an era of social media that seems to focus on highlights of peoples’ lives and seldom their struggles and self-doubts. 

I am hoping that by sharing my experiences, I can help you set your own expectations and prepare you for what is in store.

Securing the first job in your field is a combination of hard work, perseverance and luck.  

My journey began in my final year as I started sending out resumes to potential employers for my co-op and hopefully, a full-time position afterwards.  For every 10+ applications I sent out, I was lucky if I heard back from one.  I found that an interface with today’s social media could be an advantage, or disadvantage for you.  It is critical that you stand out from the rest, add a personal element to your portfolio to increase your chances of being seen, and don’t allow yourself to be swallowed up by it.  

You want to get that interview and meet with the employer to convince them in person that you are the right person for the job.  I was one of the fortunate students who received a few responses to my applications and was given an opportunity to be interviewed by more than one company.  In the end, I was able to secure internships at Scholastic and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Both of my internships at Scholastic and at TIFF were the result of me seeking out a direct contact at the company, and explaining my school requirement for co-op and my desire to work for them. 

I first came to Scholastic as an unpaid intern during my co-op in my fourth year. At the time I was working as a Junior Graphic Designer in the Creative Services Department. When my term ended, I did not want to leave as I had grown madly in love with the company and had formed many valuable relationships. At the end of my co-op I was told not to get my hopes too high for a full-time position, as they were on a hiring freeze, but I made myself a personal vow that I would not let this dissuade me. 

Fast-forward almost a year later, I came back in the role of receptionist after being tipped off of an opening by one of my co-workers who I kept in touch with. The opening was for a 4-month contract due to an internal change. At the time I was still working part-time as a Parks and Recreation Youth Program Leader, but when I received this message, I jumped on the opportunity with no hesitation.

I was interviewed on the Friday and was asked to start the following Monday. I said yes, knowing that my contract may or may not go longer than the promised four months, but regardless it was a foot in the door.

After four months, my contract was extended, and I was offered a transfer to Scholastic’s Trade Department as Trade Sales and Marketing Assistant that I held for 8 months prior to securing my full-time position as Scholastic’s new Marketing and Publicity Coordinator. I was the fastest turnover from receptionist to an internal position.  

How did this happen? During my four months as receptionist, I showed my eagerness to learn and worked hard by taking on as much overflow from departments as possible. Hence, in the fourth month, I was whisked away by one of the departments and my contract was extended! 

It is important that you never give up and that you continue to pursue your dream. Before securing a full-time position, I had applied to more than five internal positions; many of which I had come so close to acquiring. Despite the crushing disappointment of not getting one of these positions, I continued to apply as opportunities became available. I also agreed to take on more responsibilities to gain as much experience as possible. Then one day an unexpected resignation occurred, and there I was, the most qualified and eager person ready to fill the role! In the end, this marketing role was the best fit for me.

Don’t worry if you don’t get where you want to be right away, everything worthwhile takes time.

As you can see, even within my current place of employment it was quite a journey to get to where I am now. Since graduating I went from being unemployed, to being partially employed, to freelance, to finally securing my current position. So many times I could have thrown in the towel, but instead, I continued to strive forward and prove my abilities above and beyond everyone’s expectations, even my own.

You learn that you can’t take it personally when things don’t work out.  More often than not, you are competing with people who are equally or more qualified, or the position just isn’t the right fit for you. 

One of the biggest challenges I had to learn was to be patient with myself.

It can be easy to lose confidence in yourself when things don’t fall into place right away. While I was looking for a full-time job, I was able to work part-time and at the same time, work on several other projects to gain additional experience.  

As anyone who knows me knows, I have a passion for the video world. As part of the very first Emerge Conference, I was the head of the unit that won the first-place prize for best video for my sizzler reel. During the summer I also took on a position as a Videographer for the Georgian Bay Land Trust.  When the end of summer (post graduation) came around, I quickly realized I was not going to land a job in my field right away. I knew I needed to create work that would keep my resume current.

Always take advantage of slow periods by seeking out more experiences.This was about the time I started talking to an old collaborator about joining him and his co-director for a short film they were creating: Michael Was Here.  After meeting for coffee and hearing the story pitch, I was sold on it and I left the meeting agreeing to come onboard as the film’s producer.

This was a role I had never been in before, but I was convinced it fit my skillset. I discovered just how exhilarating, and how many months of hard work making a film could be! I was there from the initial stages, script revisions, scheduling and casting, creating Kick-starter pages for funding the project, and finally, shooting a film that was predominately filmed outdoors in what was one of the coldest Canadian winters yet! The people I met and the experiences I gained through this project kept me involved in this industry.  In addition to this I volunteered at various film festivals while searching for full-time employment. 

Then, TIFF 2014 rolled around. I took the entire week off to attend industry press conferences and screenings. Also, by keeping in touch with the team I worked with during my internship at TIFF, I was able to get a job as a videographer during the 2014 film festival. This year I plan on submitting Michael Was Here (https://vimeo.com/80317875) to the 2015 TIFF short film selection. There’s no reason why you can’t pursue more than one of your dreams at a time. Every experience builds on another! 

I have made great friends and connections through my projects as a volunteer. I also found great solace in reaching out to professors; they are mentors who know the field.  I always found them more than willing to give advice and guidance. Don’t ever underestimate the connections you’ve made at Guelph-Humber. The intimacy that you have in a small university community is a bonus. Network and connect with people! These are the stepping-stones to a successful career.

With that said, be sure to take full advantage of every opportunity!

Invest your time and effort in your internship and learn as much as you can. Take every opportunity that comes your way to gain and apply the experience. Put yourself out there and try new things, meet new people and network, because every connection made is an opportunity in the making!

With permission of the University of Guelph-Humber

A Dream Job: Natalie Quinlan, News Anchor and News Room Supervisor

University of Guelph-Humber stories don’t end with graduation. The university revels in the success of their past students and was pleased to discover that Natalie Quinlan, a Media Studies graduate had landed her dream job on Canada’s west coast! This is Natalie Quinlan’s post-graduation success story.

Natalie graduated from the UofGH Media Studies program in 2013 with an area of emphasis in Public Relations. After graduation, she completed a post-graduate certificate in Broadcast Journalism - Television News at Fanshawe College. 

In November 2014, Natalie, 24, became the evening news anchor and news room supervisor for CJDC-TV, a division of Bell Media, located in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. The evening news show reaches about 60,000 viewers.

Working for a local station, Natalie finds her role requires her to “wear a lot of hats.” As the evening news anchor, Natalie relays important local, national, and regional news to viewers. This is no small feat – working for a local station, Natalie has to do her own makeup and hair, mic herself up, follow her own cues, and roll her own teleprompter. As the news room supervisor, Natalie manages a team of four reporters and works on her own stories in preparation for the evening news. “It’s a huge time crunch during the day,” says Natalie. “Reporting and shooting and editing everything definitely take the most time.”

Making the six o’clock news show seem effortless requires a considerable amount of energy – and effort. “We’re working so many different roles that we have a ton of responsibility on our plates. So, that’s why it feels like the day feels flies by,” says Natalie. “We are the reporter, videographer, editor, news anchor.” This makes for an invaluable and, more importantly, fun, experience.  “It makes the day so much fun,” Natalie adds. “It gives me a really good appreciation for what goes on behind the scenes.”

Natalie credits much of her drive and inspiration to pursue a career in television broadcasting to her experience at UofGH. Natalie was one of the pioneering students who worked on the very first student-run Emerge Conference at UofGH.

A hands-on learner, Natalie values the Media Studies internship opportunity in her final semester. “I interned at Entertainment Tonight Canada in Toronto and that really opened up my eyes to the possibilities associated with broadcast journalism and the world of television,” explains Natalie. “I always knew I had a passion for it, but I was a little bit scared of pursuing the industry because I’d heard so many horror stories. “ But after the internship, Natalie’s mind was made up: “I knew that it was where I wanted to be.”

In the spring of 2014, Natalie applied to a job posting at a radio station in Alberta. “What scared me more than moving out [there] by myself was not having a job in something I graduated in,” admits Natalie. “That’s why I just jumped on the opportunity right away. I would definitely recommend people to search out for the opportunities instead of just kind of waiting for them to come to them. You really have to go where the opportunities are, sometimes. Sacrifice a little bit, and you might be home in a year. That’s really a blip on the large scale of life.”

It was the right move – without it, we couldn’t have penned this momentous chapter in her career.

With permission of the University of Guelph-Humber