2019 Winner

Skylar Peters

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The Troy Reeb 2003 Distinguished Alumni Internship offers a unique opportunity to a Digital Communications and Media student; a two week all-expenses-paid internship in a major market newsroom.

Skylar Peters, a second-year Digital Communications and Media (DCM) student, is the recipient of this year’s Troy Reeb Internship.

Day 1

The basketball fan in me couldn’t turn off the Raptors game on Saturday night, so my story begins with me being a little drowsier than I needed to be. Thankfully the early lines at the Winnipeg airport are nice and short so I could get to my coffee ASAP. 

A million thoughts have run their course through my brain since I was awarded this internship. I had been to Toronto as a twelve-year-old for a weekend trip to watch baseball - this was going to be a completely different experience. 

I touched down at Pearson and after a friendly cab ride, made it to my hotel. I checked in, and debated taking a nap. But there was a reason I booked the 7:30 flight - it gave me the rest of this first day to explore. 

I grabbed a ride downtown and as soon as I stepped out, the energy of this city became apparent. It was infectious. I’m here.

I probably spent three of the next six hours looking up at the sky. The neck of this prairie boy wasn’t used to looking so high for such a long time. I visited Dundas Square, the Roundhouse property, and spent some time on the waterfront, but I finished my day by taking stock of the property at 25 Corus Quay. That’s where my adventure would begin in just hours. I headed to the hotel and prepared for another early wake-up on Monday. 

Day 2

I’m anything but a morning person. However I found it pretty easy to spring out of bed today and get ready for the day. There was so much to look forward to!

I took a ride to Corus HQ, and showed up about an hour early - also out of character for me. I enjoyed a coffee in the nice morning weather, and tried to calm my nerves. I thought back to the last time I was so nervous - oh yeah, it was the interview with Troy back in March.

At 7:00 I was welcomed inside by the Executive Producer of The Morning Show, Ryan Cripps. Ryan navigated me through the television studio area of the massive Corus building and we then sat down in the green room with the rest of the crew to go through the day’s show.

Everyone was very receptive and I was able to contribute a few ideas to their morning banter, which helped me feel at ease.

When it was show time, Ryan and I sat behind the cameras in the studio and he quietly explained to me everything that goes into what Global viewers are seeing across the country at the moment. The attention to detail was what really stuck with me - whether it be moving a chair just a millimetre to make sure it’s in perfect position or adjusting one of the host’s outfits ever so slightly.

Jeff and Carolyn, the hosts of the show, had four interviews during this hour and they handled them all like absolute professionals. Their on-air presence was like an aura around them - just watching them gave me so many cues to use for myself in the future.

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After the show was over Ryan and I went back to his office to show me some of the ground-work that goes in to every show. Again here it was the attention-to-detail that astounded me, whether it be the lineup for tomorrow’s show, or the graphics that will be put to use. Not only that, but every crew member worked so quickly to get the job done, and worked together so well. A true team effort.

After my time with Ryan I had the opportunity to have lunch with Troy at the restaurant inside Corus HQ. It was a great hour filled with engaging conversation about everything under the sun (literally - the weather was perfect for the patio). Troy was in the middle of a busy Monday during a very important week for the business side of Corus. For him to take the time out of his day to spend an hour with me was a gesture I really appreciated and he helped me feel at home during my first day.

After lunch it was off to the radio side of things to spend time with the AM 640 crew. I had just completed my practicum at a radio station in Winnipeg on Friday, so to get to see how another big-market station works was a very interesting experience for me.

The afternoon began with an hour-long conversation with Jeff Storey, News Director at Global’s Hamilton affiliate station. Jeff’s intensity and passion for radio was apparent from the get-go and it was an enthralling conversation I will take with me for a long time as I journey into radio myself.

I spent the rest of the afternoon down in the studios, starting with the News Director at 640. She showed me all of the programs that the team uses to produce their content - yes, Burli was right there too! She explained the synergy between all Global radio affiliates and how that led to everyone working in the most efficient manner - it was quite intricate but also very simple at the same time.

The remainder of my day was spent with Mary Feely, producer of the John Oakley show. I thought the day was fairly fast-paced to this point - it was a whole new world shadowing her! During the three-hour show, Mary fields calls from listeners, brings guests on the show, banters with John on-air, prints copy for John to use, adjusts topics by adding the newest information, posts podcasts and more - all without breaking a sweat. Both John and Mary were true professionals and it was an amazing, eye-opening experience to watch them work.

5:00 p.m. signalled the end of my first day at Corus. It was a beautiful afternoon in Toronto but I quickly headed back to the hotel to write this blog and then go to bed - 3:00 a.m. was quickly approaching.

Day 3

This was the earliest I had ever been woken up for ANYTHING, save for a flight or two in the past. 3:30 a.m. came quickly on this particular morning, but I was still energized as I made my way down to Corus HQ thanks to the excitement of the day ahead.

My day started with the Global News Morning show. A similar experience to The Morning Show yesterday, but also quite different! This show runs in the Toronto market from 6-9 every morning, meaning a lot of material has to be prepared for each show!

There are three hosts in the studio as well as a field reporter out in the city, whom I was glad I wasn’t shadowing on this day because it was extremely cold and raining!

The organization of the show by the producer, Chelsea, was really impressive, especially after she told me she usually arrives an hour before the start of the show! However, it’s live television and things don’t always go perfectly. The ability by everyone on the team to adapt to a sudden change in a matter of seconds and then remain composed on-camera really stood out to me.

After the morning show was over, we had a meeting with one of the executives to receive feedback on how the show went, and then began planning the show for the next day.

After lunch my schedule took a sudden turn of plans - instead of hanging out in the radio studios, I followed one of the FM station’s crews to Scotiabank Arena for a promotional event they were doing with the band Twenty One Pilots!

I was able to meet the band and watched as eager fans got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ask them questions and take pictures with Josh and Tyler.

After the end of the event, I went out for dinner with the crew and then returned to the arena for their show! While admittedly not their biggest fan going in, I was blown away at the energy these guys had on stage and the production elements of the show! It was an amazing opportunity!

At the end of the show it was a quick ride back to the hotel as my day began early once again on Wednesday.

Day 4

It’s another early wake-up call, but by now I’m getting used to it. I arrive at Corus Quay for my final morning there and re-join The Morning Show crew.

Once again I had a chance to contribute during their morning meeting, and while the show was live I really took in the differences between this show and the local Toronto morning show that I was a part of yesterday. The Toronto show is much more news-focused, but both shows do a good job of keeping it light and fun.

I spent most of this show taking with producer Ryan about the ins and outs of putting a shown like this together. It might seem a little boring to an average person but to me it was extremely interesting.

After the morning show was over it was time to bid goodbye to Corus Quay. I left without testing out their two-storey slide in the atrium, which on its own would be enough motivation to make it back here later in my career. Even without the slide, the amazing people in the building - radio, television and administration - all make this building a place I hope I return to in the future.

I was now off to the other half of Global’s Toronto footprint, north of the city. I was greeted by Eamon Zekkou, who has spent 40+ years working in the building. Naturally, he gave me the initial tour - this building features online teams, assignment desks, multi-market content teams (which I’ll get into in a few days), control rooms, ET Canada, and so much more. It’s no wonder I’ll be spending the next week here!

After the tour I sat in on the mid-day editorial meeting for the Global Toronto team. They provided updates on all the reporters out on assignment, tweaked the newscast’s lineup, and began to set up stories for tomorrow. Like The Morning Show, it was a fantastic look in to the technical aspects of a newscast. The team worked with such efficiency it was no wonder why they could pull off a flawless newscast every day.

After the meeting it was the end of my day at work, but not the end of my day. One of the great parts of this internship was the free time afforded to me after work hours!

I took full advantage of this tonight, and made my way downtown to take in my favourite band, Greta Van Fleet. I happened to see they were playing in Toronto just by chance last week and took the opportunity in a heartbeat! Yet another bucket-list item being crossed off the list, and it’s only day four!

Day 5

Today was my first full day at the Barber Greene facility, although I spent only an hour there. My day began with an assignment meeting in the morning to figure out just what stories I would help cover. 

I was quickly sent to the provincial court where Catherine McDonald, Global Toronto’s crime reporter, was waiting. She and the camera-person, Enzo, were awaiting an appearance from a woman charged in a hit-and-run of a four-year-old kid. Heavy stuff, as the kid remains in hospital in critical condition. 

This was the first appearance for the woman, so we knew nothing would happen in the courts. Catherine updated the situation live on the noon show, broadcasting to the control room using a box measuring 10” by 10” and weighing no more than 10 pounds - pretty crazy technology. 

After her live hit was over, Catherine split from me and Enzo, and the two of us went downtown to Jurassic Park, where crews were busy setting up the fan area for game one of the NBA Finals! Enzo and I did an interview for Global Halifax using this magic box again, and we hung out grabbing b-roll and working on a few stand-ups for myself. Here’s a quick list of the celebrities I saw during these two hours: 

  • Chauncey Billups, former NBA Star
  • Tracy McGrady, former Toronto Raptor 
  • Stephen A. Smith, sports broadcast personality
  • Sid Sexiero, sports broadcast personality
  • Masai Ujiri, GM of the Toronto Raptors

Of course, I didn’t manage to get a picture with any of these people… but there’s always Game Two!

For the last part of the day I hung around Global’s live set right beside the Jurassic Park area and watched Alan Carter deliver a full hour of news with fans milling about just feet away from him. He kept his composure amidst all of the talking and laughing, and even the one guy playing music on a loud beatbox while selling t-shirts – pretty impressive. 

The broadcast was impressive from a technical standpoint as well! It consisted of two cameras, which is small by Global standards. There was no magic box for this production – instead, the live truck bounced the signal towards a receiver on the CN tower off of a reflective skyscraper. Crazy stuff!

After the show was over, I retired to the hotel room for the night, where I planned on watching the Raptors game but actually fell asleep after eating pizza. Apparently, this reporting stuff tires you out!

Day 6

Day six from a blogging standpoint might not be the most interesting day of the trip, but as I write this, my head is exploding with information. I spent the day in Global’s HQ learning the ins and outs of how the Global website works. From shadowing the breaking news team to see how they gather and post information, all error-free and perfectly manicured for search engines in a matter of minutes, was fascinating. I spent the afternoon with the video team, learning how their staff crafts the perfect clips and original content for use across the country.

At 5 p.m., my day was supposed to be done. Instead of heading home, though, I went down to the control room to watch the 5:30 and 6 p.m. newscasts, this time from the other end of the video feed. I learned so much in that hour watching the production team roll through that newscast, I truly can’t comprehend. After it was over, I had an inspiring conversation with the director, Kyle, who gave me his perspective on young people in the industry and what it’s going to take to get back to Toronto later in my career. 

I still haven’t left as I write this at 7:30, but it was well worth the three hours of “free time” that I lost. I’m back on the ground tomorrow reporting again, so it will likely be straight to bed once again when I get back to the hotel!

Day 7

Today was another chance to get out in the field and shadow a reporter! The weekends are a different animal when it comes to news production, and there is a lot less staff in the building. That meant more responsibilities for us. Unfortunately it was a fairly slow news day, and we only covered two stories, though they were both compelling!

We went across Toronto during the morning and afternoon, and once we returned to the studio we cut our clips and sent them in for the newscast.

Day 8

Today was probably the most information-heavy day to date! I spent the day in the Multi-Market Content area of Global, where they prepare newscasts for – wait for it – Halifax, New Brunswick, Montreal, Toronto, Kingston, Peterborough, Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Regina – all from Toronto! It is a way for Global to keep local newscasts in these markets, where otherwise they wouldn’t exist.

I saw the news cycle come full circle, from assigning the reporters in the morning, to writing scripts and organizing lineups, to recording and finally editing. It was a very cool experience to see it all come together and to have a hand in organizing lineups and writing scripts – something we did at Lethbridge College but with a much larger audience this time!

After the day, I went downtown to watch the Raptors game from a restaurant and meet a friend from Winnipeg who flew in to see the game. It was a full day, but well worth it!

Day 9

Today was spent on the assignment desk for Global Toronto. The day started with an assignment meeting, and I found it funny how they described the day as a "slow news day" even though it seemed like so much was going on compared to some days in Lethbridge! The assignment meetings made me realize how much of a team effort the news really is. Everyone who was sitting around the table had intimate knowledge of almost every story and had something to offer on their own.

They all had opinions about the lineup, how much time we should give to each story, and what is the most important. Even though the opinions differed a lot of the time, everyone was on the same page by the time we left the table to start the day.

The rest of the day on the assignment desk was a real eye-opener. The assignment coordinators are responsible for monitoring social media, fielding calls, keeping an eye on emergency services, and much more. Once they have a lead on a potential story, they have to quickly confirm the information, and then try to send out a reporter and camera operator as soon as possible.

Sadly, the day's big story came in the middle of the afternoon when a car struck two high-school students, critically injuring one. It was a heartbreaking development and it was eerily similar to Stephanie's day (See Day 7 under 2017 Winner) on the assignment desk a couple of years ago. Despite the terrible nature of the story, it was fascinating to see everyone involved conduct their duty with the utmost professionalism.

Just when I thought I was ready to pack up for the day, I got my big break - or so I thought. There were reports that the Golden State Warriors' charter flight had issues and had to turn around and land again in Toronto. Our office got a tip that they might be staying at a hotel downtown while the plane was being fixed. With all the reporters out on assignment, they sent me downtown in a hurry to see if I could find the team and confirm the reports. After about 90 minutes of my finest stalking, the search wound up fruitless and it was confirmed the team was already back in Oakland. 

Day 10

My final day at Global in Toronto! It had absolutely flown by and I wish I could stay for another 10 days - there was just so much to learn.

I had spent time in nearly every area so far, so I wanted to try something out of my comfort zone on my final day. I spent the day with the graphics department – a team of 19 people who create graphics for every Global affiliate across the country.

The scope of work ranges from small daily graphics that live in TV packages and online articles, to much longer projects such as opening intros for shows such as The Morning Show (which underwent a re-branding just a few months before).

Chris, my mentor for the day, let me ask him approximately one million questions, as graphic design was nowhere near my wheelhouse. He was working on a one-minute segment for a video that will end up on YouTube on the topic of misinformation.

Chris also showed me some of the biggest projects the graphics department has undertaken. I had the chance to nerd out as he told me the details of one in particular: It had 200 layers, and each frame took TWO HOURS to render. The video was 30 frames/second, and it was 20 seconds in length. I'll let you do the math on how long it took to render this thing!

Chris also took a break from his project to work on some of the smaller daily tasks when there were a lot of requests piling up. It was impressive to see him bang out great-looking graphics in a matter of minutes – something that probably would have taken me at least an hour.

By mid-afternoon, my time was done at Barber Greene. I thanked the numerous people that made me feel so welcome and headed back to the hotel. After packing for the flight for tomorrow morning, I went on my final adventure of the Toronto portion of the trip – meeting two of my good friends from back home and going to the Blue Jays game!

I didn't have big expectations for the Jays on this particular night, but they ended up getting the win – a perfect end to my time in Toronto!

Day 11

I don't have much to report from this day as it was a travel day today. After what felt like the shortest flight ever, I landed in Ottawa. My first impression of the city was how green and beautiful it is – a stark contrast from the glass jungle that is downtown Toronto!

Day 12

It's my first day in Ottawa today and it took just a few minutes to walk from my hotel to the national bureau here. My first of two big takeaways from today happened as soon as I stepped out of the elevator – I had never seen an office so beautiful! It is located on the 14th floor, just a block away from Parliament Hill. The TV studio offers views of the Hill, the river, and Gatineau to the north. What a great place to spend the next few days!

After a quick tour and meeting the staff, I was put to work grabbing clips from today's D-day ceremony in France for use in Global National. It was a very moving ceremony, and it was especially cool to see the clips I chose make it in the newscast later that night.

After that was done, I took a break for lunch and then headed to the West Block for question period. It was my first time on Parliament Hill, and the beauty of the entire property really struck me. The Centre Block is undergoing a 10–year (!) renovation, so the House of Commons has been moved to the former courtyard in the middle of the West Block. It was amazing to see the synergy between the classic building and feel of the House floor, but also the modernization all around it.

Question period was an interesting experience, to say the least. There were heated exchanges between MPs on several different topics, and Speaker of the House Geoff Regan had to call order nearly a dozen times.

The second big takeaway from this day was that I need to work on my French. Luckily, the House has live translators who you can listen to via a headphone plugged in to your seat. A lifesaver for me, since I would have had no idea what was going on half of the time!

After Question Period it was back to the bureau to assemble some headlines from the day, and it was already 5 p.m.! The day in Ottawa seemed to fly by and I'm hoping I can slow down time in the next two days! It's hard to believe I'll be back in Winnipeg so soon.

Day 13

Today was a Friday on Parliament Hill, and that meant business as usual, but also the taping of Global’s weekly political show, The West Block

The producer showed me the day’s rundown and which guests would be on the show. The day started with a phone-in interview from Washington D.C. with a security expert talking about Canadian/Chinese relations. After that, it was a studio interview with Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations. The taping wrapped up with a roundtable-style interview with three MPs, representing the Liberal, Conservative and NDP parties. 

The roundtable was the most interesting to me because I was able to see the MPs transition from regular small talk to parliamentary business once the cameras turned on. In a short six-minute spot, we saw them go head-to-head on three different topics, all trying to get their points in. 

Once the MPs had left, host Mercedes Stephenson quickly recorded all the elements of the show that filled in the blanks – introductions, closes and the transitions between commercials and segments. Since this show isn’t recorded live, Mercedes and the producers work to make this a perfect production from start to finish.

After all that was done I was put to work creating content for globalnews.ca as well as Global radio affiliates from the interview packages. As a guy who wasn’t well-educated on politics until earlier this year, this was one of the more challenging aspects of the entire internship. I had to decide what information was the most important to the public and frame it in a way that would grab the interest of anyone scrolling by.

The day was done after that and it flew by! It was really interesting to see how everything comes together, from start to finish, in just under a day. After watching the finished product on Sunday morning it was cool to see how much work goes into this polished final product. 

Day 14

This was it! Today was the final day of the internship! I was tired but still hungry to learn – and today was a good day for it!

It was a Saturday, so the newsroom was mostly empty, save for a reporter, camera operator and myself. We were tasked to do a story on a veteran’s group helping the homeless – more on that later.

Before that, however, I went to the Canadian Museum of History to check out their exhibits during the morning! Since we weren’t out on assignment until around noon, this was a great way to spend my time. It reminded me a lot of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights back in Winnipeg and was extremely interesting! Two hours was not nearly enough time and I probably could have spent most of the day in there – but there was work to be done. 

We set out on assignment and quickly met the group at their drop-in centre. The group consisted of former Canadian Forces members who volunteer their time to help homeless citizens. The group is called VETS, or Veteran Emergency Transition Services, and it was started by a veteran who experienced homelessness himself. 

Today, all VETS groups across Canada were doing an annual walk, where groups of five or six members walk throughout their city and hand out food and water to the homeless. If they find a homeless veteran, they make that person aware of their service and how they can help – but they hand out their goods to all of the homeless population regardless of their service record. 

Before we left, the reporter Abigail Bimman told me of her plan for her story that night. She told me the best-case scenario would be for the group to find a homeless veteran so we could capture their conversation. That wasn’t something that happened too often in Ottawa, VETS told us. 

However, just a few minutes after we started our walk, we ran into just that – a homeless vet. We were able to interview him ourselves, and it was really touching as he got quite emotional when trying to explain what this encounter with VETS meant to him.

After recording Abigail on-camera both downtown and on Parliament Hill, it was back to the studio to start putting this together.

The process between Abigail and her camera operator/editor was a lot like ours at the college, but twice as fast. It was impressive to see how quickly they decided what the best clips and footage were and how quickly Abigail put together a script. 

After some editing and back-and-forth with the national news desk, the story was done at 5:10 p.m. Twenty minutes later, we turned the TV on as her story led Global National! The turnaround was amazing and I still can’t believe they do it every day. 

After saying goodbye to the Ottawa bureau, I headed to Byward Square to enjoy a nice dinner and reflect on this internship. It was an incredible opportunity and it was truly everything I could have imagined, and way more. I was able to learn so much everyday, and it will really help me hit the ground running when I get to work in Winnipeg.

It was also a great source of motivation for me. I was able to see how everyone at Corus, Barber Greene and the Ottawa bureau conducted themselves so professionally, but also weren’t afraid to be themselves. So many people I met during this trip will serve as role models for me as I start my own career in this industry, and it gives me something to shoot towards as I progress in my career.

Lastly, I owe Troy Reeb a huge thank you for continuing to sponsor this opportunity for DCM students. Our instructors and Troy himself spend a great deal of time advertising this to us as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it truly is. To be one of only 14 students over the years who have gone on this experience is a huge honour and I will take lessons learned from this internship with me for the rest of my career. For Troy to sponsor this internship out of his own pocket is a testament to how invested he remains in the future of media in Canada and the class with which he conducts himself. 

But for now, it’s back to the ‘Peg and time to get things started for myself at Global News Radio, 680 CJOB! 

Thanks for following along!

2018 Winner

December Burgess

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The Troy Reeb 2003 Distinguished Alumni Internship offers a unique opportunity to a Digital Communications and Media student; a two week all-expenses-paid internship in a major market newsroom.

December Burgess, a Digital Communications and Media (DCM) student, will spend 10 days immersed in the world of broadcast and journalism at some of the top newsrooms in the country.

Day 1

I’m exhausted! That is to be expected considering I woke up at two in the morning so I could travel to the Calgary airport and make it to my flight on time. I can’t begrudge this, of course. I wouldn’t have slept anyway. I am way too excited!

Toronto is everything I could have possibly imagined it to be. Like a toned down L.A. without the annoying palm tree aesthetic – the buildings are towers, the scenery is beautiful and every tiny detail speaks wonders of “big city life”. I am staying at the Westin Harbour Castle which is right off the coast of a gorgeous lake. I’ve never seen so many boats in my entire life! I swear there was like fifteen of them docked about a block away from my hotel. It’s so awesome.

Anyways, apart from my mild fascination with the boats, I have nothing else to report. It’s time for me to go to bed and mentally prep from my first foray into Toronto’s News Industry.

Day 2

I spent the morning at the Morning Show – which had a friendly but extremely intimidating atmosphere to begin with. Liem, Carolyn and Jeff were fantastic and it was awe-inspiring to see their composure on the job.

It was interesting to see how much movement was involved regarding the live sets. Liem would be on camera reporting the weather, and then the control room would take to the graphics and the crew would be changing the set behind him as Liem walks wherever he needed to be next. It was fascinating to see how fluid the process was. I could liken it to watching a ballet where everyone in the show inherently knows the steps. It was as if they knew the process so well that it was part of them. Their guests were also quite amazing – Drag Queens from Rupaul’s Drag Race and the Wiggles. Completely brilliant.

After the Morning Show, I joined them for their ‘after show meeting’ where they talked about what was good/bad and what would happen the next day. We did this in school after a broadcast as well!

Next up, I got to sit in on the filming of a Youtube series called ‘Living in Colour’. The title really says it all! The episodes consist of different issues and experiences POC’s have just living their everyday life. They have an episode on online dating, mental health, general stereotypes ect. I really enjoyed sitting on this because this is the sort of content that I, as a writer, thrive on. I like people stories and I got to sit in and listen to a bunch of people with different experiences of the same subject.

I thought one of their more interesting points was that racism can cause Post Traumatic Stress. When they first said that, I was dumbfounded because it seems like it obviously can but it’s not something I have ever heard people talk about before. I think these segments and Youtube series’ are a really good idea and I look forward to when they are published.

I spent lunch with Troy which was really awesome! I know how busy he is but I was happy that I had to opportunity to pick his brain about some stuff and talk about where we thought the industry was going.

After lunch, I went to the AM Radio station. I’ve never really been into AM radio but I have to say that the first afternoon I spent there had me hooked! I had the opportunity to sit in with an op and shadow her as she ran things for the host. What was even more exciting, though, was that I had the chance to shadow radio producers.

Mary Feely was a great person to follow! Her approach to producing was both jarring and helpful and she gave me some life advice that I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

Mary was my last stop of the day, and I went back to my hotel feeling excited for the next day to begin. The only thing that could probably make my day better was if I had been able to figure out where the hotel restaurant is. (Update from future December: it was on the roof!!! Not in the Lobby!!! Who knew?)

Day 3

So, I am positive that three in the morning doesn’t agree with me (or anyone) and I’m extremely curious as to how the people at the Morning Show arrive to work at five with such chipper attitudes. Seriously. What are they putting in their coffee? Apart from my grumpiness at being awake at any time before 7 in the morning, I had a pretty great day.

They put me on the head sets so I could hear the control room (pretty cool) and I spent the whole morning talking to the prompter/entertainment news writer, Shane. I don’t actually remember what his job title is, unfortunately. But we had a fantastic conversation about the industry, it’s politics and upcoming trends. We also talked about equipment and programs. Altogether, Shane had a wealth of knowledge that I am happy he could share with me. I hope we can keep in touch!

I spent the afternoon once again with the radio station! I met so many people from so many departments that my head was spinning by the end of it. They were all fantastic, patient and answered any question no matter how idiotic (and some truly were) they ended up being. I got to spend the end of my day with Colter – an announcer from one of their FM stations.

He taught me a lot about line up and repetition. He also showed me the importance and the challenge of decreasing dead space.

Day 4

Last day at the Morning Show (and hopefully the last day of waking up at 3)! Today was great! I had the head set on, they let me run the prompter (which I didn’t mess up on, thank goodness!) and I got to play with their fancy crane camera. It’s really sensitive and I’m glad I didn’t have to operate it during the show because I think that would be disastrous to the integrity of their content. But it was super cool and I’m glad I could do it!

For the afternoon, I said goodbye to the Corus building and made my way to Barber Greene for Global. The building was like the Tardis – it’s bigger on the inside. Even after getting a tour I got lost trying to leave the building at the end of the day. The tour consisted of the news room, the virtual sets (both MMC and daily news), control rooms and ET Canada. Before lunch, I had the chance to watch the News at Noon with the director. The programs she was using were way different than the ones we used at school so it was helpful that she took the time to explain everything.

The cafeteria at Barber Greene was brilliant. The food tastes like home feels which is comforting when entering an intense workplace. After lunch, I went to an editorial meeting. This is basically a time for reporters to pitch, vet and go over ideas and angles for their news stories. It was great to see everyone work cohesively as a unit in what is undoubtedly a competitive field of work.

Day 5

Erica Vella is magic, I swear. I shadowed her today and she did her stand up in a loud environment, with people everywhere while walking backwards in heels. She didn’t seem to stumble on her words or act like any of the experience was stressful to her and I’m in awe. They didn’t end up using the take, but she was still fantastic. How does she do it?

Well, I asked and she said it was all in practice.

Apparently, when she was just starting out, she had to do five or six takes during a stand up. Still, I don’t think that even a hundred years of practice could prepare me to do a stand up backwards in anything but orthopedics.

We went to the Dyke March, which is more of a political protest than it is a celebration. It’s a lead in to the Pride Parade the next day. I followed along as we did streeters, interviews and took b-roll. (Though I had no part in any of the b-roll at all, god bless! Shoulder Cam is rough.) And though the day started off slow, fifteen minutes before the parade started, we hit the ground running.

Literally.

We had to sprint to reach the front of the parade. It was exhilarating!

The editing process and the turnaround rate was quick too. James had the video turned out in like 20 minutes. I’m definitely going to have to practice my editing to reach that speed, which is good to know. What took him a half hour would take me about an hour and a half.

The entire experience was quite enlightening. I realized that much of what I learned in school was the exact same as what we did – though a bit easier because they had access to vehicle and I did not. It was a nice little review and it was extremely validating to my education.

I think overall, shadowing Erica made me a bit more confident within my skin. I have the skill, it’s just a matter of practice.

Day 6

PRIDE DAY. YUSSS.

I love Pride and I’m so excited I get to be there while they cover it. (Even if it’s sopping wet and I have tiny water fountains in my shoes.

Our interviewee was an hour and a half late, which was funny because I thought for certain that with the credit of ‘Global’ behind a reporter, there would be less instances of lateness and no-shows. Turns out that no matter what company you’re from, people may cancel.

We were given a Pen #2 media pass but because Erica knew one of the organizers or had worked with them previously, we were given illegitimate access to Pen #1 (which was awesome!). There was some confusion regarding a media scrum. It was being held in a VIP area that basically no media outlets had access to – which seems silly but I guess for the sake of an exclusive interview, it’s okay? I don’t know how often that happens but thought it was interesting to note.

One of the other Networks did get a clip and offered to share it with Global’s assignment desk. (Which was very kind). I got to experience some journalism politics between Local and National groups.

At Global, sometimes National can’t spare reporters for certain events so local reporters supplement for the National show. The problems arise when they want the national package to highlight something different than the local package. We definitely only had time for one package. We had ten minutes to go before the deadline when James finished editing, and we were still on location when he was doing it.

It all turned out fine but it was interesting to see that side to the business.

I learned two big things today:

  1. The worst part of reporting on location is finding a parking space
  2. A close second is finding a bathroom

After James sent the video in, we went back to the station and I caught a ride back to my hotel.

Day 7

MMC is both confusing and highly intelligent. I suppose that the best things normally are. Basically, the concept is that they cut down on man power by having one anchor broadcast across Canada in a pre - recorded (and sometimes live?) tape. It made more sense when I was there talking about it rather than when I’m reflecting on it now.

Either way, I am certain it’s completely brilliant! It wouldn’t have won an award otherwise and it saves money which is always a plus.

I hung out with Aemon today, who is the Manager for all things MMC. He says he likes working in the trenches with his people because he likes to know what’s going on. He also says that young people are the future and that we’re coming up with the innovative ways the industry is going.

We had a good, long and in depth discussion about the media and I think he’s probably the most interesting person I have met thus far. He’s worked at Global for forty years and has done absolutely everything. He’s also a teacher at an university in Toronto so he has a kind of wise professor tone of voice. If he was in a fantasy novel, he’d be the wizard that gives a prophecy to a young knight.

He displayed a passion for his career that I haven’t seen very often and it was refreshing to talk to him.

Day 8

Meetings! Meetings! Meetings!

God, I love meetings!!!

Weird thing to enjoy – I know, but I think my favourite part of the internship so far has been to learn the inner workings of the industry from management positions. It’s so interesting!

I shadowed Sarah Kelsey and whoa! She has a lot of meetings in a day. First, we went to a story generation meeting where people pitched their ideas and basically let managers and each other know what was going on in the day. Then we went to an executive editorial meeting – where I contributed a source for a story for a reporter, which I am super proud of – where the managers got together with their manager and let him know what’s what. We got pulled out of that meeting early for a sponsorship meeting which was interesting because I didn’t even think about their online revenue and how they would make money that way.

I hung out with their social media guru and helped him create teases for social media (which I don’t think I was all that good at but I’m glad I tried out) and then went for lunch in the cafeteria. (Once again, the food was amazing! Good job Chefs!)

After lunch, I went to a newsletter meeting and only to get pulled into an AM/FM Radio meeting before I went back to my hotel.

I love administrative work and meetings are so much fun – which is extremely nerdy – and I hope I get to join in on them again.

Day 9

Today I hung out with the online video team as they updated video to stories already published and created feature video for their Youtube page. Once again, the editing turn around blew my mind and reminded me to keep my skills up with my adobe suite. It’s almost mesmerizing to watch them edit so quickly. They were using hot keys I didn’t even know existed and did everything with a precision that can only be attributed to lots of practice.

In the afternoon, I bounced around from editor to editor before eventually making my way to Global’s Master of Youtube! He answered all of my burning questions about monetization of news content, flagged accounts and the ethics of monetizing specific content. (Like is it okay to monetize news content about a terrorist attack where a bunch of people die? Will Youtube allow you to do that? Etc.) We also talked about live streaming and the options opened to them by doing that for specific events, the demographics of channel and how that effects their content promotion and whether or not they have started promoting their feature content such as: ‘Living in Colour’.

The day was super informative, ending off with their breaking news team where I asked questions about the wire and the technicalities behind that. All in all, it was a great last day at Barber Greene. Next stop? Ottawa.

Day 10

Travel Day! The airport is muggy and hot, security stresses me out and I think I’m about the have an anxiety attack because there are no seats and an excess amount of people. No matter – it will be all worth it once I’m up in the air.

It’s funny. I love flying but I hate heights. I’m actually so scared of heights that being on the second floor of a building freaks me out, but I like looking out the window when I’m flying. It doesn’t make any sense.

Anyway – nothing new to report. Check back in tomorrow!

Day 11

Ottawa has such a fascinatingly different atmosphere to Toronto. They were a fast-paced, no nonsense lot. I suppose they would have to be in order to write for politics. Either way, the shift was interesting to see.

I spent the morning getting things in order for Canada Day. I walked to the press centre to get my press badge for Parliament Hill, organized an interview for that Sunday and did a bunch of research for an upcoming interview with Hamilton Band, Arkells.

In the afternoon, I went up the hill to parliament and toured around the coolest place ever. Seriously. My tour guide was extremely knowledgeable about the centre block and told me fun facts about the history of the building. My favourite part of the tour was the library. There were so. Many. Books. It was awesome!

I stayed a bit later that day to shadow the Arkells interview. The reporter ACTUALLY used my research and asked some of my questions which was really great!

Day 12

I’m not sure anyone truly understands my absolute hatred of transcribing interviews. I helped my friend transcribe clips before from a focus group and it feuled my revulsion. It took three hours to do one clip. Alas, transcribing [AKA – bane of my existence] is what I spent my morning doing, and surprisingly…I was okay with.

Mostly I was just super excited because I was given the opportunity to write the Canada Day article on the Arkells. It’s on the Global website right now!!! https://globalnews.ca/news/4306520/arkells-canada-day-concert-ottawa/

I spent the afternoon shadowing a reporter on a story about a man who was let out from prison after the Supreme Court decided his sentence was too long. He was put there for hitting and killing a two-year-old boy with his car, but due to some external circumstances like vigilante justice (civilians kidnapped him and cut off his thumb with gardening sheers) and bad legal advice (he wasn’t intoxicated, he was distracted because he was arguing with his wife but his lawyer told him to deny police a breath sample), it was determined his original sentence was too long.

It was interesting to see the reporter put all the pieces together and a helpful reminder that it’s good to spend time in court (as a reporter, not as a criminal.) At the same time, another team was working on a Canada Day heat story which I completely under estimated at the time. (You’ll read about that in the next entry.)

Day 13

The grand finale of my awesome internship was wiped away by a humidex of 47˚. I can safely say that I have never ever been as hot as I am right now. Standing makes me sick. Sitting makes me sick. And I want to tear off my skin because it’s far too stifling to be alright. I threw on a layer of sun screen this morning, and I can still feel the sun searing into my flesh. My shoulders are now beat red and I know in a few hours, they will be flaking like snake’s skin. I hate the heat.

I don’t think I’d be able to report in conditions like that! Even the reporting team admitted that by noon, they were feeling a bit woozy due to the heat. And what’s crazy is that they were the only team from Global Ottawa that was working that day. I watched them do two TV spots, multiple radio hits, regular social media updates and news gather. They were running around like crazy in the heat, lugging around a 30 lb camera and I have no idea how they got everything done.

It was certainly impressive!

The team let me go early that way I could enjoy my own Canada Day in the capital. What does that mean exactly? I went to a museum and looked at all the fun medieval artifacts. (Cause I’m a nerd.) I turned in before the fireworks went off so I could be ready for a morning flight.

Day 14

Goodbye Ontario!

I am so grateful for this internship – it’s revived my love for news and reassured me that I have the skillset to work within this industry. I’ve learned a lot of useful things about position and different areas of expertise I have never even thought of. I’ve received useful tips that will make my life easier in the future. And I have made connections and met people that I never want to forget. I am especially grateful to get a broader perspective from multiple different sources about where the industry is going and what is changing currently.

I am glad that I had this opportunity (it was awesome), but to be honest, I can’t wait to get home and away from the heat.

2017 winner

Stephanie Savage

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The Troy Reeb 2003 Distinguished Alumni Internship offers a unique opportunity to a Digital Communications and Media student; a two week all-expenses-paid internship in a major market newsroom.

Day 1

The flight is early; the coffee isn't strong enough.

The plane is so cold that my toes, curled tightly in my shoes, are absolutely frozen.

None of that matters. I am on my way to an experience of a lifetime. To have the opportunity to intern with Global in Toronto is something many of my classmates will only ever dream about and here I am living it.

Upon landing I anticipated having to catch a cab to my hotel, however I was greeted at the baggage claim by a friendly face. Troy Reeb himself. The gracious host had taken time out of his busy day to meet me and take me to my hotel. This was amazing. I got some time to have a long face-to-face with the decorated alum. The problem? I was anticipating taking a cab and not seeing anyone important so I was certainly NOT dressed to impress. It was a great first impression if I do say so myself.

Upon getting to my hotel I was able to see that this area of the city is amazing! It is beautiful, and so luxurious. The hotel is gorgeous and they give every person checking-in a fresh, warm chocolate chip cookie.

Following check-in I did some exploring downtown, had a great cup of coffee and went to bed early so I would be bright eyed and bushy tailed for conference day one.

Day 2

I woke about an hour earlier than I anticipated and eagerly got ready for my big day at the conference. I was so nervous to be in a room with some of the biggest names in the industry.

The walk from my hotel was only about five minutes (thanks for the sweet hook up Troy!) and I got there much earlier than I should have. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it gave me the chance to network with some pretty snazzy individuals.

I met tons of people from various facets of the Global team. Producers, content creators, web contributors, managers and everyone else in between. On top of those individuals I had the opportunity to network with various personalities from CBC around the country, broadcast specialists from multiple organizations, representatives from Facebook and professionals from the Canadian Press.

I got to experience some incredible table discussions that really put the media industry into perspective for me. Some of the best in the industry just poured incredible experiences and knowledge onto an eager crowd.

There was one discussion that focused on the current state of the media industry, another that examined the publics’ ability to differentiate between real and fake news, the current climate on the radio industry and a detailed look into investigative journalism. They were all incredible and so relevant.

The conference concluded for the day and I had about an hour before I had to return for the President’s Awards dinner that same evening.

The dinner was another amazing opportunity to network with some amazing people in the industry. The food was amazing, the people were incredible and the evening was magical!

Day 3

The conference continued in to day three, so I eagerly made the walk to the Sheraton to kick off my morning.

The first session of the day was specifically tailored for students; they called it industry speed dating. The session gave myself and students from surrounding broadcast schools the chance to have one-on-one networking with various industry leaders. We would start at one table and have five minutes to ask questions, get advice or just chat. It was wonderful!

To have the chance to sit down with multiple people from various facets of media was invaluable. I spoke with the head of Global News’ national digital team, a media consultant from New York, a VP from a Saskatchewan radio conglomerate and a producer from CBC. Each one had very unique insights into the industry. I could work in media for 20 years and never get the chance to connect with people of this caliber. What an amazing opportunity it was.

“You have a natural curiosity. If you have that, you’ll do just fine in this business,” said George Browne, Director of News Content for Global Online. Following the morning session we were treated to a presentation by JHR, an organization that helps to establish ethical and safe media outlets in third-world countries. The work they do is just amazing. They were most recently in South Sudan where they helped to procure safety for the reporters in that country. Check them out on their website to read some of their further success stories.

Once the morning sessions were done and lunch was had we moved on to the afternoon sessions. I attended a panel discussion that explored the importance of social media in journalism in our modern world. Liam Nixon from Global Lethbridge attended this session as well. He is great!

That was it, the conference was done! The only thing left to do was return to my hotel, put on my fancy clothes and attend the annual gala that same evening. The gala recognized 75 of the industry’s best and brightest and celebrated the extraordinary careers of Charles Adler and Terry Milewski with lifetime achievement awards. It was a night filled with marvellous moments and great company.

Day 4

FREE DAY! FREE DAY! FREE DAY!

Troy and his team graciously gave me the day off to explore Toronto, and explore I did.

My cousin, who lives down the street from my hotel, and I planned a day full of activities that would take me all around the city!

Our morning started with a short jaunt down to Nathan Phillips Square. There is a small dog park there, so we took her adorable bulldog Lunchbox for a walk. There were so many cute dogs there. Honestly, if the day had ended there it would have been a success in my books. BUT, it got better!

We dropped Lunchbox off to enjoy the air conditioning while we ventured through town.

We kicked the morning off with a patio brunch complete with mimosas. The patio overlooked downtown Toronto. It truly was a breakfast of champions.

We took the subway (my first subway ride, what a thrill!) down to High Park, which was beautiful! We then went to the coolest free clothing swap where I got some awesome finds – including a Harry Potter wand!

We then walked down Bloor St. to find La Cubana restaurant. For those who know me, they know that I have been obsessed with Cuban coffee since I came back from Chicago a few years ago. I have never found a good place in Lethbridge! (Hit me up if you know one!) This lived up to the hype!

I had not one but two coffees, sweet plantains and the most delicious mango hot sauce. It was unreal.

From there we went to the Eaton Centre and embarked on some retail therapy. There were some great stores in there!

To finish our day, we again took Lunchbox out. This time we went to another park down by the Art Museum of Ontario and the CN tower. It was a great conclusion to a fantastic day.

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Day 5

WOW, how did I get to day five already? It’s hard to believe I have already spent four full days in the beautiful city of Toronto!

Today was the day I got to head to Corus Entertainment’s head office. First things first, the building looks like Google headquarters. It is modern, cool and equipped with a giant slide! It has to be one of the most incredible buildings in existence.

After my tour, I got started with the The Morning Show, hosted by Jeff McArthur, Carolyn MacKenzie and Liem Vu. It was so cool to be able to be a part of the action. It gave me an opportunity to see how the skills we learn in school are applied in the industry, and guess what? Paying attention in class totally helps, who would have thought?

On the show that morning, Serena Ryder dropped by to talk about her new album. It was so unreal! I had to do my best to not pull a fangirl watching her on set. She was very kind and gracious; she gave me a free copy of her new CD.

The morning concluded with the talented show team wrapping for the day and eagerly starting prep for the next mornings’ show.

I walked the daunting distance across the hall to the AM 640 team to begin my afternoon in radio. It was so intriguing to see how a major radio station operates just like our little one back at home. They use Burli (yes, Burli) for everything.

I got to sit in with the show producer while she fielded calls, monitored time, prompted upcoming segments and kept her hosts on track. It was interesting to see the dynamic between a music radio station and one dedicated specifically to talk and news.

After what felt like a whirlwind day, I said goodnight to my good friend Burli and bid Corus Quay farewell (for now) and retired back to the hotel for the evening. Knowing I had to be up by 3 a.m. the next morning for The Morning Show pretty much trumped any plans I had that evening and I hit the sack.

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Day 6

Wow, I don’t know if you have ever woken up at 3 a.m. to get your day started but, let me tell you, I do not like it. Nope. Not one bit!

After begrudgingly getting out of bed I made my way back to Corus Quay for another shot at the twisty slide.

I started my morning once again with the talented morning show team, and had a blast. We had a dog being inducted into the Purina Hall of Fame and my personal favourite, eight gentlemen from the Magic Men Live tour. Yes, this is the live version of the Channing Tatum movie “Magic Mike.”

The time I had at the Morning Show was absolutely incredible. It was informative, welcoming and most of all, unbelievably fun. The team there really knows how to make an Alberta gal feel welcome!

Next came my final stint with the AM 640 team. My duty today was audio clips. I was tasked with finding pop-culture related audio clips for planned segments that could tie in to the topics being discussed. It was so rad!

After finding all my audio clips I sent them off for review and my day was done.

I thanked everyone in the Corus Quay building that had allowed me shadow them and follow them for the past two days and bid the slide adieu. Tomorrow, I am on to the Global newsroom and I am ready to take the challenge head on!

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Day 7

Today was my first day at Global News’ office. I walked in to a HUGE building that had so many hallways, rooms and areas to explore. I was greeted by the friendliest staff members who were so eager to help me find my way.

I got the full tour and was AMAZED by how many different departments and people go in to putting together the news.

My day started with the Toronto news team. I was partnered up with an amazing reporter named Cindy Pom. We were assigned to cover the day’s breaking news.

We were dispatched to cover a story (you can see it here) where two teen girls were struck by a vehicle while crossing the street to their graduation ceremony. It was absolutely heartbreaking.

We had to do on-site research, interviews and follow-up. It was amazing to see how a story comes together from start to finish.

Heartbreaking, but incredible.

We stayed on-site all day, we were caught in a rainstorm, accosted by graduates, kicked out of the graduation all while attempting to get the story out to the public in a timely manner.

After an EXHAUSTING and emotional day, we packed it in after our story went on both the 5:30 and 6 p.m. newscasts.

I headed back to my hotel and rested up for the next action packed day.

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Day 8

I arrived again at the Global News office, ready to start another exciting day!

I spent the day with the online team. They are responsible for globalnews.ca and all of the content that goes directly to web.

I worked with an investigative journalist named Andrew who had me transcribe his recent interviews and showed me some of the tips and tricks for optimizing stories for the web. It was interesting to see how much of the news industry is now focused on the online market.

Following that process I worked with the social media desk. I learned how integral this part of the job has become and how vital it is to the industries continued success!

When my day concluded, I headed back to the hotel and settled in for the night. Or so I thought.

My friend surprised me at my hotel and took me out for dinner. She drove in from Brampton to see me. We talked for hours; It was so nice to catch up.

Day 9

Today was control room day! It was time to experience more of the technical pieces that keep the well-oiled machine working. I got a tour of the control room and my immediate reaction was that it was SO much bigger than ours at school.

The team that worked in the control room were amazing. They were helpful, informative and hilarious. They made me feel so welcome.

We got ready for the noon news and got in position. I sat with the producer and watched her masterfully execute a flawless newscast. It was awesome!

Then I shadowed Alan Carter while he prepared for the evening news at 5:30 p.m.

Carter anchors Global News at 5:30 and 6 p.m. and has been working in the industry since 1989. It was so beneficial to get to pick the brain of someone so talented who has cultivated such a long and successful career.

Before the newscast started, Alan let me sit at the anchor desk with him and read off the prompter. It was rad!

I then got to sit in on the rest of the production for the remainder of the evening. It was great!

Day 10

Well, this is it, my last day with Global. It went by so incredibly fast.

For my final day they had me do some “streeter” interviews at various events happening around the city of Toronto.

The first event was the the Pringles Ketchup Slippery Slide world record. To mark Canada's 150th birthday and National Ketchup Day, Pringles not only officially launched their ketchup Pringles, they broke a world record. Pringles had former Toronto Blue Jays player Brett Lawrie hosting the event that featured a 50-foot ketchup-covered slip and slide in downtown Toronto and crowds of eager sliders.

I took some pictures – including a selfie with the Pringles man himself - asked some questions and jetted off to my next event.

The next event was the Canoe Heads 2017. This event was a collaborative effort by avid canoers and local businesses to raise money to send kids to summer camp. The group recognizes that the life skills and experiences kids have at camp are invaluable.

We watched as a group of amazing people walked 8 km carrying canoes on their heads before jumping in the water and canoeing back that same 8 km. It was inspiring to see what amazing work they were doing for charity. After interviewing a few participants and lucky kids who have been to camp thanks to this event, I jumped back in the camera truck and headed on to our third and final event.

The final event was a street festival. Major Toronto streets were shut down to accommodate street vendors and residents. It was so awesome. We didn’t need interviews for this particular piece, so all I did was follow the cameraman around while he shot b-roll. Regardless, it was still astonishing to see.

With that, we headed back to the Global studios and I prepared for my goodbyes.

I will never be able to thank the team enough for welcoming me and throwing me in to a series of new things so I could just gain experience. Every single employee I met was a wealth of knowledge that helped me grow, not only as a journalist, but also a person. Thank you.

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Day 11: Travel Day

Not much to report this day, I travelled from Toronto to Ottawa. I got to my hotel, unpacked my bag and toured the area a little bit. I walked down to the Parliament building and the river to check it out. Ottawa is beautiful.

I finished up my adventure, grabbed some food and got in bed to rest up for the big day at the Ottawa Bureau.

Day 12

Today was WONDERFUL!

First order of business when I arrived at the Ottawa bureau was to obtain a media pass from the National Press Gallery. This pass would allow me to enter the House of Commons and various events in Parliament.

After my pass was acquired I prepped for the afternoon.

I was attending my first ever question period at the House of Commons.

Today, Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer faced off in their first debate since Scheers’ appointment as the Conservative party leader.

I got to sit in the media wing and watch all the action. I was initially concerned, as I don’t speak French, and they are required to ask and answer a certain percentage of questions in French. Turns out, media personnel all get these magic little ear pieces that live translate everything that happens throughout the whole period. What a lifesaver!

Following the question period, I joined a media scrum with the Prime Minister. I was literally less than two feet from our nations’ leader. It was unreal.

After the question period was finished I wandered around Parliament for a while and then went back to my hotel.

My Aunt and Uncle from Trenton drove out to see me for the evening.

We had a lovely dinner down at the market, walked around and enjoyed each other’s company. After three years, it was so wonderful to see them again.

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Day 13

Ottawa, round two.

So I got to the office just before 9 a.m. and was excited to learn that I would be watching a conference in which the Foreign Affairs Minister would be delivering a speech to caucus, with a question period to follow.

My job was to listen and shot list the encounter. Basically, tell them the times when individuals were speaking.

Following that, I got to attend another question period at the House of Commons. This time, when Prime Minister Trudeau came down the stairs, I got to shake his hand. How exciting!

I then got a tour of the Parliament Library, the Peace Tower and some other cool hidden gems of the building. Looking out from the top of the building really put in to perspective what an amazing city Ottawa is.

With that, my day took me back to the hotel as I was beat.

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Day 14

Last day! The time went by so incredibly fast, I can’t even believe it.

I packed my bags and headed out for my final day of this whirlwind adventure.

I got to the office, only to learn that I would be attending a meeting and press conference to unveil Canada’s new national defense policy. HOW COOL.

I walked down from the Global office to the national defense building and was escorted inside. Upon entering, my phone was taken and placed in a sealed envelope before I was ushered in to a sealed room. There was a media embargo on, and no one was allowed to release any information before a certain time.

This was such an unreal experience. There is little ol’ Lethbridge me, sitting with the amazingly talented Vassy Kapelos in a room full of some of our countries top defense leaders. They were unveiling the countries’ next 30 years of defense spending. To some this may seem boring, for me, I hung on every word that was being said.

The floor opened for questions and Vassy hopped at her chance to address the speakers. It was amazing to see her mind work so quickly and ask prolific and intelligent questions.

Following the media sit-in and the lift of the embargo, we joined a room full of Canadian reserve members and a whole pack of media to have a press conference. It was so interesting!

Once the whirlwind morning concluded it was time to say goodbye to the wonderful Ottawa team and make my way to the airport to return back to Alberta and normal life.

I got to the airport and got through security with enough time to reflect on my experiences before boarding the plane.

I only had 14 days to make the most of this huge opportunity. I bounced from online editing to political content to breaking news stories and I learned a few things along the way.

  1. Ask questions
    • I’ve never personally had much trouble with this. In fact, when I was interviewing with Troy Reeb and the panel for this internship, I grilled Troy with question after question. I think he felt like he was being interviewed that day.
    • In a fast-paced media environment, you have to stay ahead of the news, and get to the heart of a story. Asking questions can absolutely help get you there.
  2. Contribute ideas
    • The newsroom is always on the hunt for the next story, so offering up ideas is always appreciated. Even if at first it seems that the story is nothing, there is often something deeper buried JUST below the surface.
    • Besides, by offering up ideas it shows initiative and innovation!
  3. Make connections
    • This could be one of the most important things that I learned throughout this experience.
    • While it may be intimidating to walk into a new office, making connections can be the difference between an internship and a career and even more than that, it offers you the opportunity to draw upon years of experience you have yet to develop.
  4. Take advantage of every opportunity
    • Opportunities present themselves every day but it is up to us to take them and make the most of them. Opportunities don’t just suddenly appear in front of our eyes. Many times, opportunities actually come to us in very stealthy ways - sometimes going completely unnoticed. Look out for them, better yet, hunt them down!
    • Don’t be afraid to ask to work in areas that you’re interested in or maybe areas that you haven’t had that much experience in before, it’s up to you to make the most of your time.

This was a greater experience than even I could have ever imagined. I will never be able to put into words how amazing and beneficial this trip was. The experiences I had and the contacts I met will prove instrumental in my future and I can never thank Troy Reeb and Lethbridge College enough for this opportunity. It was truly life changing.

To Troy specifically, thank you for being a leader in this industry and a beacon for us newcomers to look towards for inspiration. You continue to put everything into this industry and attack each obstacle and challenge with passion and determination. You are an incredible mentor and I hope to have the opportunity to work together again in the near future. Thank you!