Testimonials from gradsRecent graduates of Kwantlen’s Journalism School work for some of the top news outlets across Canada and around the world, including The Globe and Mail, CBC and The Huffington Post. Below, those grads share what they learned during their time at Kwantlen and how it helped prepare them for their exciting jobs in journalism and public relations.
Andrea Woo (Class of 2006) | @AndreaWoo
Reporter, The Globe and Mail
Andrea’s work at The Globe and Mail has included stories on Amanda Todd’s suicide and the Stanley Cup riot. Before joining The Globe, Andrea worked as a reporter at The Vancouver Sun, where her work on The Gastown Project won a 2012 Jack Webster Award for Excellence in Multimedia Journalism and her reporting on a plane crash at YVR won the 2012 Jack Webster Award for best news reporting in print.
“It was great having active, working journalists as instructors at Kwantlen because they not only taught us the academic stuff, but shared their insights on the ins and outs of newsrooms in Metro Vancouver. Their practical tips – not to mention their references – were invaluable. As well, they were always available by phone or email if I wanted to get a hold of them, and they often emailed interesting stories and job postings outside of school hours. I remain in frequent contact with a few instructors to this day.”
Harold Munro (Class of 1985) | @haroldmunro
Editor-in-Chief, The Vancouver Sun
Harold heads B.C.’s largest newsroom, helping direct award-winning coverage for the highest-circulation newspaper in Western Canada and one of the most-visited news websites in the country.
“The journalism program at Kwantlen provided hands-on, practical training for young writers. When I attended, in the pre-digital age, we learned to shoot photographs and develop film, we served in various reporting and editing capacities on the school newspaper and, perhaps most importantly, we each spent two weeks working in the newsroom of a community paper. My experience at the community newspaper led to a reporting position in Terrace, B.C., and then back in the Lower Mainland at The Vancouver Sun.”
Sarah Jackson (Class of 2012) | @journoholic
Production Assistant, HuffPost Live
Sarah works in Manhattan for The Huffington Post’s live-streaming video network, HuffPost Life. Sarah pitches story ideas in production meetings and then finds and pre-interviews guests for her segments.
“Kwantlen equipped me with many of the skills I use on a daily basis, as well as with the knowledge of how to effectively apply them. I think some of my biggest takeaways from Kwantlen are my research, story development and entrepreneurship skills. Kwantlen encourages out-of-the-box thinking with its seminar-style classes, which prepared me to contribute to innovative journalism companies such as HuffPost Live.”
Photo by Arnold Lim Photo Courtesy of Saanich News
& Black Press
Kyle Slavin (Class of 2010) | @kslavin
Senior Reporter, Saanich News
Kyle writes stories and takes photographs for the Saanich News, covering a wide range of issues, from crime to city council. In 2012, Slavin won the award for best environmental writing (10,000+ circulation) from the Canadian Community Newspaper Association.
“Having working journalists – and not simply academics – running Kwantlen's journalism program allowed me to get a comprehensive education that prepared me for working in a newsroom. I have a binder of notes and handouts from Kwantlen courses at my desk that I still refer to on a regular basis. Kwantlen prepared me to be a well-rounded, driven journalist who can write, edit, photograph, paginate, question and investigate.”
Joel McKay (Class of 2009) | @joelcmckay
Director of Communications, Northern Development Initiative Trust
Before joining Northern Development, Joel worked as a reporter and assignment editor at Business in Vancouver, where he created BIV’s first investigative reporting unit, and won the Jack Webster Award for Business Excellence in 2011.
“Kwantlen is the reason for my success. The faculty helped me finish my degree in three years instead of four, and supported me with an amazing education, internship opportunities and career advice. To this day, my Kwantlen professors continue to provide me with advice when I need it. It's the school that keeps on giving.”
Hosea Cheung (Class of 2008) | @hosea24hours
Sports Reporter, 24 Hours Vancouver and QMI Agency
Hosea covers all the professional sports teams in Vancouver, writing stories, taking photos and participating in social media. He’s also the sports editor for 24 Hours Vancouver, which involves dealing with columnists, laying out pages and planning recurring features.
“There's no doubt Kwantlen laid the basic foundation for me to get to where I am today. Besides the reporting fundamentals, Kwantlen forced me to get out of my comfort zone in order to get a good story or just be able to approach strangers and ask them questions.”
Rebecca Blissett (Class of 2010) | rebeccablissett.com
Rebecca’s work - from concert photographs to portraits - has been published in the National Post, The Globe and Mail, the Georgia Straight, Spin, Elle, People and Western Living. She has also done corporate work for clients throughout Western Canada from indie record labels to large companies.
“My journalism education and experience is integral to where I am today. The level of instruction at Kwantlen is outstanding and there's no better way to be prepared for a career in journalism/photojournalism than being taught by people who work in the industry.”
Chris Bryan (Class of 2000) | @chrismbryan
Editor, Burnaby NewsLeader and New Westminster NewsLeader
Chris won Editor of the Year (weekly) and Newspaper of the Year (37,500+ circulation) from the Suburban Newspapers of America in 2009. In 2010, the same organization awarded him Best Opinion Column (2nd place).
“Kwantlen gave me the tools I needed to prepare for a career in journalism, and the range of courses meant I could go in many directions. The best part was having instructors with so much real-world expertise, who were always eager to help.”
Holly Reid (Class of 2004) | @hollyereid
Communications Officer, B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU)
At the BCGEU, one of B.C.’s largest unions, Holly is response for a wide range of communications initiatives, from preparing internal communications to contributing content to online and print publications.
“The four years I spent at Kwantlen gave me an opportunity to learn the critical skills needed for an exciting career as a communicator. My Kwantlen instructors - who were seasoned industry professionals - taught me to write across a wide-range of styles and mediums, including speech-writing, press releases, crafting key messages for specific groups and writing compelling copy for diverse campaigns and initiatives.”
George Baker (Class of 2007) | @BakerGeorgeT
Associate Producer, CBC Radio
George helps track down the top stories of the day for CBC Radio’s Daybreak North.
“Kwantlen brought me out of my comfort zone and challenged me to chase the stories I felt the world around me needed to hear.”
Chris Poon (Class of 2009) | @Questionchris
Multimedia Reporter, The Now Newspaper (Surrey)
Chris writes stories for The Surrey Now as well as interacting with the community through social media.
“Kwantlen gave me the tools necessary to be competent in a newsroom setting. Not only did it teach me the technical skills required (CP style, writing techniques, research methods, etc.) but it also provided me with great contacts within the industry.”