Welcome friends, grab yourself a Cup of Joe, relax and sit back and let’s chat a little about the St. Clair College Journalism Program
In the past decade or so, St. Clair College has emerged as one of the top community colleges in the country. Approaching an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students through its various campuses, the college has expanded its diverse curriculum in addition to adding a number of state-of-the-art buildings for education and sports.
The college today bears very little resemblance to the school I attended for one year in the early 1970s as a student in the Business Administration Program. Growth, expansion and diversification of the school has benefited from the vision of its former president, Dr. John Strasser, and its current president, Patricia France. They have worked tirelessly in establishing a network of relationships with area businesses and industries that allows the students to receive the most up to date training and experience for their future careers.
Because of my involvement with the media in the past 14 years, with COGECO TV and Biz X magazine, I hold their journalism program near and dear to my heart. Many of the interns we’ve had at COGECO and Biz X have come to us through this program.
Housed in the re-purposed Salvation Army building at the corner of Victoria Avenue and University Avenue, The MediaPlex provides journalism students with realistic facilities to prepare them for future careers in the print and electronic media. As part of their learning, the students are engaged in all stages of television production in their TV studios as well as in the production of the Converged Citizen – “St. Clair College Journalism’s print publication. Students at the MediaPlex bring you breaking news and current affairs from Windsor, across Canada and around the world, as it affects people in our communities.”
Veronique Mandal is the Coordinator of Journalism, Public Relations and Media Convergence at the college. Mandal brings to her position not only a passion for this discipline, but extensive experience as a respected journalist in our community.
I was invited in by Professor Shelley Divnich Haggert this week to conduct ‘mock’ job interviews for first year journalism students. I was thrilled to participate. Not only was I representing Biz X magazine as an important presence in our community for the past 20 years, but it allowed me to share some of my thoughts and insights into journalism with these future journalists. But even more importantly, it was a great opportunity for me to LEARN from these young people! And learn, I did.
I spent about 20 minutes each with first year journalism students Kurlis, Jessica, Sente and Ryan. I reviewed their portfolios with them and discussed key aspects of job interviews, cover letters and resumes.
Bottom line: these kids get it! They are an engaging and talented group who have a great grasp on the state of the media today – it’s importance in society, and the challenges it faces in the future. Not all of them anticipate a media career. Some are looking to employ their acquired skills in other communication fields, such as 911 Dispatch, or in doing book reviews.
Wherever these students land in the future, I am convinced they will be well equipped to face their tasks with confidence and passion. And I look forward to seeing some of them in our community and as members of Windsor’s Fourth Estate.
Well done, St. Clair College – well done!