Yesterday I met a nice man who attended Columbia University's Master of Journalism program back in the 80s. Columbia, being the first journalism school and one of the world's most renown, I was amazed to find out he was the only Canadian accepted at the time.
Being a journalism student who just finished my first-year in university, I quickly took the opportunity to ask him a lot of questions about his career.
Turns out, he's been everywhere.
He's written for the Toronto Star, the National Post and the Globe and Mail--mainly as a business reporter. Not only that, he was a producer at CBC and an on-air broadcaster for CBC Radio One. Listening to his experiences and his credentials...I was in awe.
Here was someone, who had actually WENT to Columbia Journalism School offering his own advice to me: a complete stranger and rookie reporter.
And that was when I realized something. There really are people out there routing for me to achieve my dreams.
When I first got accepted into Ryerson's School of Journalism, I was both ecstatic and scared. Ecstatic because I was one of 150 applicants who made it out of the apparent 1000 who applied. Scared, because I honestly thought that it was going to be so competitive and many would be uptight, cocky, pretentious and rude. (I guess my glass was really half-empty at the time...)
Competitive yes. But uptight, cocky, pretentious, etc..?
Not the case at all.
At J-school, everyone was so nice and supportive. If we needed help with our articles, we got it. When we needed advice from a mentor, we got it. And when our idols came to visit for a conference to share their experiences, we most definitely fed off and benefited off of them.
So as I go back to my encounter with this Columbia grad, I can't help but feel thankful to know that a complete stranger has faith that I can be successful in my career.
With journalism being a cut-throat industry, I was relieved to see someone tell me that I had a chance in making it big. I apparently reminded him of Terilyn Joe, because I was Asian. (It really is funny how Asian reporters stand out nowadays....) But nonetheless, he said that if I really wanted to be a broadcaster, I should just keep asking and going for it.
And as I shook his hand at the end of our talk, he asked for my name.
When I told him, he said something along the lines of: "Samantha. I'll look for you one day reporting the news on TV. Best of luck!"
And realizing that there are people out there routing for me, I couldn't be more ecstatic.
Now, all I have to do is learn how to believe in myself.