March 3, 2008 - Toronto - I feel like a proud parent today, although I know that my students all have their own parents to feel proud of them.
Nevertheless, today about two dozen Centennial College Journalism students (from the East York and the joint University of Toronto programs) attended the annual Career Day held at the Rogers Media building in Toronto. The event is put on by private broadcasters and journalism programs around Ontario, to bring together the top hiring managers, news directors, on air talent, and recent graduates who are now working in the field, with final year students in j-schools around the province.
It's set up like "speed dating". A dozen tables where the big-wigs sit, and the students get to meet them for a half hour "date" and learn how to get jobs, what's going on in the industry, and basically seek advice, and contacts. Then they rotate to the next table. And so on.Some of the "big" names that attracted a lot of student attention included Mark Dailey of CITYtv, Ron Waksman, head of Global News in Toronto, Scott Metcalfe, of 680 News, Christina Chernesky of CFRB and Glenn Williams of Corus in Kingston.
I know that my students were keen because it's reading week but nevertheless they donned business suits and skirts and came prepared with resumes and even business cards. That's the way to make a good impression, and important contacts for internships and possible careers after graduation.
I sat in at one table, with the radio news veterans from CFRB, the new All News Radio station in Vancouver, and a newcomer to 680 News who started doing traffic. The students were from Fanshawe, Ryerson, Humber and others. Some had amazing voices, one wanted to do sports play-by-play and was already calling games for his school varsity teams. One wants to intern at CBC and said she knew Carol Off, which was in my view, a good place to start, although i told her to go to Kate Pemberton, the woman at CBC Radio in charge of interns, to apply formally. Then I joked that I shouldn't help her, since she might be competition for my own Centennial students! Ha ha.
The news director from the All News Radio station in Vancouver, Jacquie Donaldson, gave some sage advice about resumes etc: she throws them in the garbage if there is even one spelling mistake on them. Students: there is a message here!
She also says don't stalk news directors, by calling them every day. Slejana Taminsic (?) of 680 News says contact once every few weeks is enough to be persistent without stalking. The highlight of the event was the award ceremony to Centennial Student Adam Bemma. He won the first ever Ontario Association of Broadcasters' Michael Monty Award, named after a former educator and broadcaster who died after a 3 decades long career. Adam is currently on placement at CBC in Toronto, and also very involved in Darfur, Journalists for Human Rights and other community social action groups. Not only is he a great student in radio and television at school, but an all around great fellow. Congratulations Adam. We are proud to have nominated you and you deserve it!
I'd love to hear feedback from my students who attended. Was it valuable? Make lots of
contacts? Was it useful?
Labels: Adam Bemma, CBC, Centennial College, Christina Chernesky, Ellin Bessner, Global TV, Mark Dailey, Ron Waksman