You've Got This: Paddling Schitt's Creek

2021 FIMS Career Conference Recap

On Friday, January 29, 2021, The Faculty of Information & Media Studies held its 4th annual career conference for 3rd and 4th year students. The event was funded through the generous financial support of the Undergraduate Student Fund (USF), without which this event wouldn’t be possible. In recognition of the trials and challenges of the past year, the chosen theme was “You’ve Got This: Paddling Schitt’s Creek”. Though many students are graduating at a very difficult time, FIMS believes they have the knowledge, skills and resiliency to succeed in their next adventure, even despite the ongoing upheaval. Schitt’s Creek seemed like an appropriate cultural touchpoint to borrow some ideas from, given its theme of adjusting in the face of unanticipated change. As Associate Dean (Undergraduate) Susan Knabe wrote in her conference introduction,

“The show follows multiple characters on their different journeys – in some cases it is about seeing their skill set in a new light, in other cases it is about taking themselves out of their comfort zone, and in still other cases it is about finding a path that fits with where they are in their life. How have all of these elements played themselves out in your own career so far?

One of the struggles that all of the characters on SC deal with is letting go: of expectations, of lifestyles, of assumptions, of plans, of futures. What should students take away from this as they start out on the next phase in their lives?”

Scenes from the 2021 FIMS Career Conference

This year the event featured support from a record 33 FIMS alumni, as session presenters, mentors, and those who provided additional career tips. Much gratitude is owed to all the participants.


Danna Barak (BA’06) – Vice President at North Strategic
Aditi Bhargava (BA’15) – UX Researcher, Google
Drew Crawford (BA’11) – Senior Account Manager, AdParlor
Meghan Lackenbauer (BA’06) – Segment Producer, The Social, Bell Media
Serena Lam (BA’18) – Public Relations Coordinator, Michael Kors
Tessa Laviolette (BA’13) – Lead, Campaign & Creative Management, Amazon
Curtis Matthews (BA’12) – Product Development Manager, NBCUniversal Media
Mike Palombo (BA’11) – Head of Entertainment, Twitter Canada
Deana Sdao (BA’11) – Social Media & Brand Content Manager, Arterra Wines Canada, Consultant, DS Creative
Chantel Smith (BA’08) – Marketing Partnerships, NBA
Laura Tribe (BA’07) – Executive Director, OpenMedia
Bailey Wells (BA’13) – National Integrated Communications Lead, L’Oreal, Kiehl’s Since 1851


Mike Bickerton (BA’01) – Producer/Director, Bon Mot Entertainment
Traci Cheng (BA’13) – Co-Founder, Moselle
Matthew Conacher (BA’18) – Assistant Marketing Manager, L’Oreal
Angela Fiore (Industry Mentor) – Brand Manager, Marc Anthony
Shannon Gallagher (BA’06) – Founder, Influencer Logic
Jessica Golyatov (BA’17) – Strategic Account Manager, Mediaplanet
Danielle Kelly (BA’03) – Senior Communications Consultant, Treasury Board Secretariat of Ontario
Brodie Lawson (BA’13) – On-Air Host, Canadian Football League (CFL)
Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (BA’12) – Senior Researcher, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Ali Millington (BA’13) – Managing Editor, blogTO
Phil Pallen (BA’10) – Brand Strategist, Phil Pallen Collective
Lianne Pitts (BA’13) – PR Director, The Colony Project
Monica Rossa (BA’13) – Senior Communications Consultant, Treasure Board Secretariat of Ontario
Liz Trinnear (BA’10) – On-Air Host, etalk LA Correspondent
Rachel Wong (BA’16) – Field Sales Manager, Uber Eats

And thanks also to Traci Cheng (BA'13), Mina Gerges (BA’16), Jenai Kershaw (BA’16), Connor Malbeuf (BA’18), Laura Muirhead (BA’08), Phil Pallen (BA’10) and Emily Tamfo (BA’12), who took the time to self-record some career tips that we were able to post online for the students to see.

Despite the ongoing pandemic pushing the event online, students and alumni rose to the occasion to produce an inspiring afternoon. The event was not without some technical glitches, but the opportunity for upper year students to talk with alumni from a wide range of industries is immensely valued by all.Committee Members Dressed in Moira's Clothes

Organizing Committee: This year's committee is made up of students, staff and alumni. Committee members from L-R: Braden Hill, Kathie Hess, Monica Rossa, Meaghan Skinner, Susan Knabe, Maddie Asta, Katrina Desjardins, Becky Blue.

Additional Thank Yous: The Committee would like the thank everyone who contributed to this event, including Paul Buckley-Golder and Ryan Travers (Broadcast Technical Services), Charlotte McClellan and Matt Ward (FIMS Computing Services), Lindsay Sommerauer (Academic Counsellor), Brandi Borman and Rudra Seegobin (Graduate Students Services), Oeishi Bhattacharjee (Dean’s Office), Amy Thompson (FIMSSC) and our Student Hosts, Hannah McCutcheon, Serena Akhter, Alice Huang, Rebecca Streef, Pritha Mukherji and Sydney Mcintyre.