Western's MMJC Program Gave Melinda Theriault the Confidence to Work In Her Dream Role for a Not-for-Profit Organization

By Will Brooks

Melinda's hometown: Ottawa, Ontario

With a passion for working in the not-for-profit sector, Melinda graduated from the MMJC program in 2017.


When researching schools to pursue a master’s degree in communications, Melinda Theriault was looking for a program that offered an applied experience along with traditional theoretical learning. She also wanted to learn how to film and edit video, as well as gain hands-on experience at not-for-profit organizations. This led her to discover the Master of Media in Journalism & Communication program at Western University.

Melinda is now a graduate of the MMJC program, offered through Western's Faculty of information and Media Studies (FIMS). She chose the program because it offered her what she was looking for in practical and professional training.

“The things we did in the program were a challenge and pushed me out of my box—they gave me skills I could actually use in the real world,” she said.

Melinda now works at MediaSmarts in her hometown of Ottawa where she is part of a small communications team as a marketing and communications assistant. She first heard of the organization when she was doing her undergraduate degree in communication at Carleton University, also in Ottawa.

Fun Fact

Melinda thoroughly enjoys spending time with her Chihuahua, Jerry.

“After I had heard about MediaSmarts, I knew that is the type of work I wanted to be involved in,” she said. 

MediaSmarts is a not-for-profit organization that designs digital media literacy programs for children to help them develop critical thinking skills. Melinda was able to secure an internship with the organization as an MMJC student, and—two years after her internship ended—she’s still a big part of the team.

“There isn’t really anywhere where I can do this type of work, and I’m really passionate about it. To be honest, I have no idea where else I’d want to be.”

Melinda is very happy her internship turned into a full-time career. She creates and manages all social media posts and outreach for her team, and even dabbles in graphic design.

Working at a small not-for-profit is something Melinda feels very comfortable with and she worked with other charities during her time in the program. One of her favourite assignments was a communications audit for a non-profit group in the London area. She found the experience gave her insight and confidence that later helped her succeed at MediaSmarts.

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!

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.