Industry night networking launches journalism careers

Big smiles: Janille Delos Reyes (left) and Shelby Befus (right), sit with Darren Krause of LiveWire Calgary during SAIT’s journalism program’s industry night. (Lubhavni Otwal/The Press)

The SAIT Journalism Program hosted an industry night recently for its final-year journalism students in an effort to bridge the gap between the academic and the professional world.

The event was attended by students and professionals from the journalism industry, as well as SAIT journalism instructors. Around 30 students enjoyed interactions with a range of professionals from such outlets as the Calgary Herald, LiveWire Calgary, Avenue Calgary, Daily Hive, TCF4 Productions, SAIT Media Centre, 101.5 TODAY Radio, Deluxe Design Group, and Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation.

The evening’s highlight was a unique kind of networking approach — a speed dating format for making connections. In order to promote multiple interactions and connections, students were given 10 minutes with each industry professional.

This approach provided students insight into the ever-changing field of journalism.

“It is nerve-racking but super cool to be able to kind of see how the industry is in the real world,” says SAIT journalism student Abbey Whitehead. “I have printed business cards and have read about some of the organizations I am really interested in.”

Like Whitehead, many of SAIT’s journalism students researche the attending industry professionals in advance. Students met with each professional with questions and knowledge of their potential mentors.

Students presented themselves professionally by bringing business cards, brochures, and resumes — prepared to grab a potential practicum or job.

Through the networking opportunities offered by SAIT’s innovative event, professionals also forged connections.

“We met some amazing people tonight,” said  Jacqueline Clements, executive producer of TCF4 Productions. “I think there is some really great talent here that could be a fit for us.”

The event highlights how crucial real-world networking experiences are in preparing students for both the possibilities and challenges that lie ahead of them after graduation.

“The students who here are the one who are going to stand out as they are engaging with the industry and building their connections,” said Gursher Pannu, Associate Dean of the SAIT School of Business.  “They are building the skill of developing relationships and growing their network.”

About Dhruviben Mineshkumar Shah 1 Article
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Dhruviben Mineshkumar Shah is working as a writer for The Press in 2024.