Start Your Story: Western's Graduate Degree in Journalism and Communications Helped Colleen O'Toole Start a Career in Healthcare Communications

By Evelyn Andrews

Colleen's hometown: Georgetown, Ontario

An introverted extrovert and an extroverted introvert. Colleen O'Toole knows how to activate her interpersonal skills each day on the job.

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Colleen entered the MMJC program in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University straight from her undergraduate degree in Media, Information and Technoculture, also at Western University. In the last year of her undergraduate degree, she felt unsure of her future but knew she had a love for storytelling. This was when Colleen decided she wanted to keep learning and develop hands-on skills that would help her succeed in a creative environment.

When Colleen learned that a communications aspect was added to the Master of Media in Journalism & Communication program (formerly a Master of Arts in Journalism degree), she was genuinely intrigued to find out more.

Originally from Georgetown Ont., Colleen is now living in South Etobicoke and is currently working as a Digital Content Coordinator for William Osler Health System, a job she began just days after graduation.

Fun Fact

Colleen was a competitive Irish dancer for 12 years.

Through the MMJC program, Colleen interned as a Strategic Communications Intern at the Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids). Colleen has always enjoyed working in healthcare, but she also has a passion for working with children. In her spare time, she volunteers at The Darling Home for Kids in Milton, assisting with event planning and spending time with children who are medically fragile and technology-dependent.

Colleen’s dream job would involve working in communications to make a positive impact on children’s lives. Her career keeps her on her toes as she says no two days are ever the same, which definitely keeps it interesting.

“It was the best feeling to walk across the stage with all of the people I became so close to in a year.”

Some of Colleen’s favourite memories from the MMJC program were of the late nights spent in the studio with her classmates. “It was so nice to be going through all of the same things together.” She reminisces about graduation as a happy day, celebrating with all her classmates. “The best part was probably after the ceremony, when we all gathered on UC Hill to take photos. Feeling that sense of accomplishment and celebration, together, was really something special.”

Colleen’s ability to grow her journalism and communications skills in Western’s one-year master's program helped her become the effective communicator she is today.

The MMJC program has allowed many students to launch successful careers in journalism, communications, marketing and other media-focused industries. If you’re interested in starting your media career, apply to Western’s MMJC program to Start Your Story!

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Profiles in the Start Your Story blog are written by students in the Master of Media in Journalism & Communication program, who are enrolled in MMJC 9604 - Professional Writing.