1. What inspired you to start your career in journalism?
I always loved English class in high school, but I never really knew that I would end up with a journalism career. I’ve always had a strong passion for media and anything in the entertainment industry. I went to university and got my Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communication Studies. After that, I still had no idea what I wanted to do, so I worked as a runner for CBC and quickly realized I loved the environment of breaking news and live television. I decided to go to college and get my diploma in Broadcasting for Contemporary Media and I had to do an internship to complete my course. My internship was at Global News and that’s when I really became a journalist. I worked alongside Chris Jancelewicz at Global News during my internship and we were the only two entertainment reporters at the time. I got hired on the last day of my internship and the rest is history. I love what I do and I’m glad the universe guided me into this career.
2. What was your first industry job?
My first job in the journalism industry was with Global News in Toronto and I started as an intern with the breaking news team. I kept pitching entertainment stories so they quickly switched me over to the entertainment team, which was just Chris Jancelewicz at the time. We built out the entertainment section of Globalnews.ca together and our stories always received thousands of clicks a day. Our manager Sarah Kelsey saw an opportunity to create more space for other journalists and our team got bigger and bigger. The entertainment and lifestyle team worked closely together and we became such a fun group of journalists who supported each other every day. I was with the team for four and a half years and I loved every minute of it. Chris really helped me become the journalist I am today and I can’t thank him enough.
3. What has been the biggest challenge you have had to overcome?
The biggest challenge that I’ve had to overcome was pretty recent for me. Last July, I was laid off by Global News after working there since the beginning of my career. I remember getting out of the meeting where I was told I no longer worked for the company and just cried. I had attached my identity to my career at Global News and at that point, I didn’t know what I was going to do. We were living in a global pandemic and my entire team was being laid off. We weren’t even in the office anymore so we couldn’t say goodbye to each other. It was a scary time but I learned that I am not my job. I am a person outside of my job and I will land on my feet. I spent a day creating a resume-style website with all of my work, and I went off on my job hunt. Now I’m an associate producer for a radio show called kultur’D and a full-time contributor for etalk.ca. I’m also a freelancer for Yahoo Style Canada and Reviewed.com.
4. If you were not in media – what industry would you work in?
I honestly don’t think I could picture myself without a job in the media. If I wasn’t working in journalism, I would definitely be working in television production. I have always had such a strong passion for reality TV. When I’m not working, I am watching every single reality series available on hayu. I grew up watching The Challenge on MTV and Big Brother, so I think it would be interesting to work on a competition series. But I have a soft spot for all the Love and Hip Hop’s and Real Housewives so I think it would be amazing to sit down and craft a storyline. The media industry is full of everything that excites me, from music to TV to journalism and fashion.
5. What has been a highlight of your career?
I feel like so many highlights of my career have involved my interviews with celebrities. I interviewed Sean Evans from Hot Ones in-person when I worked at Global News, and I was a little nervous because his job is to do these in-depth interviews with celebrities while they eat the hottest wings. I had been such a huge fan of his since he began the series and couldn’t believe I was about to interview one of the best interviewers out there. We had a 25-minute conversation and at the end of the interview, he told me that I’m really good at my job and that boosted my confidence. To hear that from him was like music to my ears.
6. What is one piece of advice you’d give someone that wants to pursue a career like yours?
The main piece of advice that I’d want to give someone who wants to pursue a career like mine is a piece of advice I wish I had before entering it. Do not attach your identity to your job. I wish I knew that from the beginning, but no one had ever told me that. Once I was laid off, it felt like the end of the world and I felt lost but I didn’t let myself sit with that feeling for too long. I quickly started talking to other people, who reassured me that I am much more than the job I was doing. It’s exciting to have a great title at a well-known publication, but it’s also exciting to know you have a life of your own when you log off of your computer. It’s important to be passionate about what you do, but it’s also important to know that you can take those skills and work anywhere you want. You’re not locked into one spot and your skills will grow and be valuable with any company.
7. What are your predictions for the future of the media industry?
I really hope that after this pandemic is over, people start to realize how important journalism is. Journalism helps share important stories that haven’t been heard. It also helps bring a smile to people’s faces, raises awareness around important issues and lets journalists express their creativity. I hope that the journalism industry continues to grow because the pandemic has brought on many layoffs, which is really scary for the future of it all. I have hope and I’m excited to see what the industry looks like in the next five years.