It’s not uncommon for organizations to use internships as a tool to test and recruit potential new full-time employees. Not only do internships provide students with the opportunity to acquire experience and learn more about a particular field, but they allow employers to assess how well a possible employee will fit into the company’s general culture.
One of the University of Guelph-Humber’s main draws for prospective students is the 240-hour internship necessary to graduate from the Media and Communication Studies program. In addition to providing students with hands-on experience, the program also provides networking opportunities and industry knowledge.
This is how three Guelph-Humber graduates landed their full-time jobs after their internships.
Meet Taylor Clysdale
Taylor Clysdale graduated from Guelph-Humber’s Media and Communication Studies program (then titled the Media Studies program) in 2017.
For three months during the summer between his third and fourth years, Clysdale began his career at newspaper Peterborough This Week as an intern reporter. In April 2017, Clysdale became a news reporter there and in 2018 began hosting the Peterpodcast, which features Peterborough political candidates and community members to talk about local issues. In total, Clysdale has been working at Peterborough This Week for over five years.
Clysdale describes his time at Guelph-Humber as a “really positive experience.” He found that once he started to specialize more in journalism, the program and its teachers set up a lot of foundational knowledge for his career.
“However, classwork is just preparation, and my internship felt like the first real test towards my goal of becoming a community reporter,” he said.
“I remember coming into class and breaking the news to my friends and teachers that I had just gotten a job at Peterborough This Week. They were also so excited, and it felt really validating to all the hard work I had put in the past four years.”
“If you’re a high school student looking for a job, you have to look for experience. Take a co-op class and get a placement at a local newspaper or magazine, and begin to develop a portfolio. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it just needs to get you started,” he said. “I look back at my earliest work, and while it’s absolutely atrocious, it had value.”
And in post-secondary? “Write some opinion pieces for social media, volunteer for your campus newspaper, start a podcast, make content on TikTok, and do whatever else lets you expand your experience and gives you just one more valuable bullet point in your portfolio,” concluded Clysdale.
Meet Angela Frangos
Angela Frangos is a 2021 Guelph-Humber alumna.
In her final semester of the Media Studies program, she completed her internship at Canadian Tire Corporation as a corporate communications student. While there, she was tasked with drafting, editing, proofreading and tracking communication materials for executives and senior leaders in the company. Last December, Frangos was promoted to the position of corporate communications specialist, which has allowed her to take on further leadership roles such as mentoring the newest set of interns.
Like many high school students struggling to find the perfect school, Frangos wasn’t sure which university was right for her. She was only certain of two things: she wanted academics that she could apply in her future line of work, and she wanted an internship. Guelph-Humber played an integral role in her success at Canadian Tire Corporation by offering resume critiques and mock interviews through the Career Services department. More importantly, the school provided courses and assignments that were directly applicable to the work she would go on to do in her internship.
“Assignments at Guelph-Humber are valuable learning opportunities, many of which will directly apply to future work you do. Treat every assignment as one step closer to your career. They also serve as great portfolio pieces when applying to jobs,” she suggests.
Meet Samantha Knight
In Samantha Knight’s final year at Guelph-Humber in 2015, she interned at CityNews 680, formerly known as 680 News. Knight grew up listening to the station and had dreams of pursuing a career there since the age of 13. What intrigued her about the internship program was the opportunity to explore all departments.
During Knight’s 14-week internship, she went through what CityNews 680 calls “hot weeks,” which allowed her to learn the ins and outs of editing, reporting, and anchoring. It was an opportunity to network with different people on various shifts and hone in on what she wanted to do within the industry.
Guelph-Humber helped prepare Knight for her internship by teaching her how to “write for the ear.” She also used the Burli Newsroom System during her radio courses, which helped her become familiar with the software before she began her internship at CityNews 680. She is now a morning show news editor for the station and has worked with them for over seven years.
“I would recommend Guelph-Humber to anyone looking to get into the field of journalism. Having the opportunity to do an internship in your final year is such an invaluable experience and truly allows you to see what this industry is like and explore your interests.”
“It is also a great asset to have on a resume. Earning a diploma and a degree at the end of the program is an added benefit that sets you apart because your knowledge goes beyond the textbook,” she concluded.