As a group of SAIT journalism students gets ready to graduate, an Industry Night was held at MacDonald Hall on Feb. 18, with an interesting style.
A 10-minute speed-dating concept was used by the organizing team where industry leaders sat at different tables and students, allocated into groups, interacted with each. A buzzer was pressed by the host after each session which indicated the groups to move to the next table.
“It is very efficient and interesting because both employers and students can get to know each other in a short amount of time,” said Jimmy Huang, a fourth-semester journalism student at SAIT.
Students were given the opportunity to talk in-person with long-standing journalists and accomplished companies in different sectors of journalism. “I was very excited, especially after I realized that there were many well-known publications coming, allowing me to have a deep insight into how the real industry works,” said Huang.
Some of the guests shared their views about the importance of these connections in journalism.
“It is what you know, but also who you know,” said Jose Rodriguez, a leader of media relations at the City of Calgary. He has about 24 years of experience in the field and was able to kickstart his career with a practicum at the Calgary Sun during his journalism studies, helping secure a job at the big-city daily after getting out of school.
Dharampreet Dhillon, a talk show producer at Red FM, graduated from SAIT in 2020 and came to the industry night as a guest. ‘’If SAIT is organizing these kinds of events, it’s really helpful for the news organizations and more beneficial for the students because you guys get to know us, we can give you tips, if we’re in touch we can help you get a job,’’ said Dhillon.
Exposing students to different paths while they are studying is a method used by SAIT to help students choose the right direction for their career. ‘’We want students while they’re in the program to understand those different career paths that they might join because it’s not the same plan for every student in class,’’ says Janet Segato, dean of the School of Business. ‘’You’re not all going to want to go get the exact same type of job.”
Segato thanked the industry partners for attending and mentioned that even the designing of programs at SAIT is influenced by these collaborations. “We want to make sure our graduates have all the skills and knowledge and ability that industry is looking for in new hires,” Segato said.