CONNECTING STUDENTS TO INSPIRATIONAL MEDIA LEADERS
Chloë Grande ’16: Being a student in MMJC’s inaugural class of 2016 was the most fun I’ve ever had in school. Not only did I get to study what I love most — writing, writing and more writing — but I got a taste of everything from video production to graphic design to search engine optimization. Outside of the classroom, I took advantage of all the opportunities to attend FIMS events and network with alumni.
The hard skills I honed in the MMJC program transitioned well to my communications internship at Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Canada and subsequent internship at High Road, a Toronto-based public relations agency. I can confidently attest to the program’s success at bridging journalism and communications, as well as connecting me to some of the country’s most talented media professionals.
OPENING DOORS TO OPPORTUNITIES
RANA ALADDINE '16: The MMJC program was truly a great experience. By combining journalism and communications into one program, we were able to get the best of both worlds while at the same time opening doors to so many extra opportunities. The program was all the more enjoyable because of the special bond between the students and professors. Our professors were kind, lighthearted, and always willing to help. I graduated with a unique portfolio with notable work in TV, radio, and print journalism as well as communications. Alongside our memorable professors and diverse courses, we concluded our year by embarking on a semester-long internship at a company of our choice.
My internship at AM980 allowed me to put my knowledge to test and get an inside look at the real world. I had the opportunity to work as a full-time reporter, newscaster, and writer and gain techniques beyond those taught in the classroom. My internship and overall time in the MMJC program was truly a once in a lifetime educational experience and for that I am beyond grateful.
STRENGTHENING PROFESSIONAL PORTFOLIOS AND RESUMES
GREG HOWARD '16 - PROGRAM ASSISTANT, COMMUNICATIONS, SW LOCAL HEALTH INTEGRATION NETWORK: After working professionally for eight years I decided to make a change – I decided to go back to school and do a Masters. I was in the communications field, but I was largely self-taught and wanted to learn more and strengthen my resume. The Masters of Media in Journalism and Communications at Western provided me such an opportunity. The program enhanced my writing skills and gave me a better understanding of the concepts and principals of strategic communications. The opportunity to produce communications videos and learn about technological tools available to communicators was challenging, but ultimately rewarding and provided me with another valuable skill to put on my resume. Overall, the program helped me achieve my goals and find employment in my preferred sector upon graduation.
A TRANSFORMATIVE EXPERIENCE
ALEXIE EVANS '16 - COPYEDITOR/PROOFREADER FOR ARCANE DIGITAL INC: The MMJC program was one of the most transformative years of my life. Not only did I walk away with invaluable experience and new skills, but I also gained life-long friends and a passion for marketing that I never knew I had. I'd recommend the MMJC program to anyone who has a deep interest in either the journalism or communications field, as students will graduate equipped with an extensive understanding and appreciation of both fields. The knowledge acquired in both areas of study opens doors to twice as many job opportunities that wouldn't be accessible in a program that was focused on just journalism or just communications.
EXPERIENCE, SKILL DEVELOPMENT, AND NEW FRIENDSHIPSCOLLEEN O'TOOLE '16: For me, the MMJC Program meant opportunity. It allowed me to understand the separations and connections between Journalism and Communication, but also allowed me to discover where I fit into this massive field. The classes and MMJC staff members allowed me to realize my passions and what I loved to do, and it was amazing to see my classmates discover the same for themselves. The internship really solidified things for me as I had a better experience than I could have imagined. Being the Strategic Comms intern at SickKids hospital, I was able to write stories, create social media content, take photos, meet celebrity athletes, and even produce my own video by the end of the term. The MMJC Program gave me a year of skill-building, late nights in the studio, great friendships, and real-life experiences to help kick off my career.
A REWARDING CAREERJENNIFER FOULDS '95: The skills I learned in the graduate journalism program at Western University are the main reason why I’m now enjoying a rewarding career in Communications and Public Relations at a global non-profit organization.
Learning how to tell stories concisely that connect with audiences is really what my job is all about, especially with the growth in online and social media. And, learning to do that on a strict deadline has helped give me an advantage in a world where stories are constantly evolving.
COMBINING MEDIA, JOURNALISM & COMMUNICATIONSCRYSTAL MACKAY '05: Over the last decade it has become increasingly evident that it isn’t good enough anymore to be a master at your one trade. Print journalists need to also be social media experts, radio announcers have to write for the web, and media relations professionals are expected to be photographers, videographers and writers. This shifting landscape has meant an even greater need for journalists to understand the world of communications and vice versa.
Since graduating with an MA in Journalism from Western University, I have worked in a variety of roles from television news to communications and media relations. The variety of skills and knowledge that I gained at Western was integral to navigating seamlessly through these varied careers. Further strengthening the link between communications and journalism through the reinvented Master of Media in Journalism and Communication only stands to make an already strong program even stronger.
PREPARATION FOR A RAPIDLY CHANGING WORLDLAUREN PELLEY '11: Without a doubt, Western University prepared me for a career in the rapidly changing world of journalism and communications. I honed my storytelling abilities and multimedia skills during my time in the one-year MA Journalism program in 2010-2011. Video editing, photography, feature writing, social media – we learned it all, thanks to a diverse selection of courses, an internship opportunity, and a dedicated team of instructors that I keep in touch with to this day.
Being well-rounded means I’ve transitioned easily to different newsrooms, communications departments, and freelance assignments. I’ve worked in broadcasting and public affairs, and my byline has appeared in the Toronto Star, the London Free Press, and online for the CBC. I can thank Western for giving me a solid foundation on which to build an exciting career.
CORE PRODUCTION AND STORYTELLING SKILLSJACOB KUEHN '12: Having worked in journalism and public relations after graduating, I’ve found the core production and storytelling skills I acquired in my Masters studies at Western have opened up fantastic career opportunities in both fields. After graduating, I began in an exciting position with CBC News, The National where I worked alongside some of Canada’s leading journalists.
Now that I’ve transitioned into a new communications role with Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF), I’ve found those same skills are essential in my work engaging with media and producing compelling materials for a public audience. I’m really excited by the new direction Western is taking its Masters program, as it builds on its core strengths and equips future students with the skills they need to pursue exciting careers in journalism and communications.