How Centennial College Journalism helps college graduates find jobs in the media

Next week, Centennial College’s journalism program will be hosting some big events that will bring our students front and centre with the media industry which they are soon to enter as rookie reporters, editors, producers, anchors and designers. It is one of the most important ways the Centennial College’s award winning journalism program prepares our grads to move from the campus newsroom to newsrooms across the country, and indeed, around the world.

Our graduates are finding jobs even before their internships end.  Like Samantha Butler, who while at the Kingston Whig Standard this semester, was offered a job, and responded by breaking the story about how a Queen’s University professor thinks CBC’s Vote Compass is flawed. Her story went national and caused a lot of buzz in the current election coverage. Butler also covered the Wolfe Island entry into kraft Hockeyville’s competition.

Like Ryan Sang (Fast Track 2009), who has  moved to Toronto from Saskatchewan to work as a reporter with Global TV News Toronto. He credits Centennial College’s Fast Track journalism program for getting him to where he is now. Like covering train derailments.

Like, Aileen Donnelly (Fast Track 2011) who has won the Ontario Community Newspaper Association Award for best Student Writing, and will receive her award in May in Ottawa, at the OCNA national conference. Aileen covered a sentencing hearing for the Toronto Observer to win the award. She now writes as an intern for the National Post. She covers crime, editorial writing, and had this primer on the uprisings in the Middle East.

Like Francois Biber, who is graduating this spring, but has been hired by the Vermillion, Alberta newspaper where he hopes to use his multi-platform skills in audio, and video, to boost the newspaper’s online presence. Read the paper’s interview with him here.

Like Tamara Baluja, who’s internship at the Globe and Mail is seeing her byline with important stories such as the gay-straight alliance controversy at a local high school.

Our students tell us their time at Centennial College’s journalism programs gave them exposure to the leaders and experts in the media industry, and prepared them to launch their careers. Some come to us with undergraduate degrees, some come straight from high school. Others come after working for several years in other fields. All benefit from the speakers, visits, and opportunities available to them every week of the semester at Centennial’s boutique campus in mid-town Toronto, and the vibrant news city of Toronto around them. Here are just a few events scheduled for this coming week:

On Thursday, the man who produced hundreds of those “I Believe” vignettes about athletes for CTV’s 2010 Winter Olympic coverage, Don Young, will deliver his “Best Time Ever” inspirational message to students at the library of Centennial College’s Centre for Creative Communications, which houses the Fast Track, Three Year, UTSC, and Sports journalism programs.  Young says this is the best time ever for students looking to enter the media field, because there are so many opportunities for them. The speaking engagement was arranged by Ted Barris, professor and author and broadcaster who is runs the online news program for the East York students of

Also on Thursday, the former pro ball player who broke the silence about what life is really like on the road for professional athletes, Jim Bouton, author of the 1970 seminal book “Ball Four”, will be chatting with sports journalism students via Skype from New England directly into one of their classrooms. The interview was arranged by Malcolm Kelly, coordinator of the sports journalism program

Also on Thursday, students in the radio news courses will be visiting the headquarters of 680 News, the Fan590, CHFI and Kiss 92.5 FM, to meet the newscasters and producers, to see how the newsrooms operate, and to watch live shows on the air. The visit is being arranged for classes taught by radio instructor  Ellin Bessner, a former CBC and CTV News anchor and reporter, in conjunction with lecturer Anne Lavrih, who is internship coordinator for 680 News and the voice of Today’s Parent minute on that station. Lavrih has been teaching at Centennial for two years.

In Lindy Oughtred’s Advanced Interviewing classes on Mondays, students will still be buzzing about their trip to watch CBC broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi host his live radio show “Q”. They are also giving lively presentations about the findings of their major research projects which they’ve been preparing all semester, including one by student Ani Hajderaj, with his tips on how to interview people who are in business, and how business journalists operate.

In photography and digital imaging, professors Jim Babbage and his colleague Joseph Marranca have announced the winners of the third annual Clix Journalism Photo competition, involving entries by students in all three programs. Congratulations to UTSC joint journalism photographer Jessica Lee, who excelled in all the categories. See the winning entries here:

Find out more about why Centennial College’s journalism programs will lead you to a career in the media business. Follow us on Twitter , on Flickr, read our program blog, follow the award winning Toronto Observer’s online news site , check out our award winning magazines, radio news programs, television shows, and digital imaging by students on CentennialOnDemand.

Contact Steve Cogan, coordinator at  for more information or to apply.

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