|Journalism student Thandiwe Vela at her desk at the Toronto Star|
She listens to the buzz of an all-night city on the radio, waiting for the next big story to break.
During a midnight shift at the Toronto Star, Thandiwe Vela sits at her desk in the Toronto Star’s radio room, scanning the airwaves connected to ambulance and police dispatchers. As an editorial assistant for the city’s largest newspaper, Vela knows what’s happening every minute.
“I’m right there, on the
front lines of everything,” Vela said. “I’m
constantly listening to the scanners for breaking news and writing
stories at the same time for the Star’s online content.”
She has also written several feature stories for the newspaper and
hopes to become an editorial columnist one day.
Ever since she immigrated to
As a fourth-year student in the joint journalism
program at U of T Scarborough and
“Not only do you get credited for having
both a university and college education, you get the different
teaching techniques offered by both institutions,” she said,
“and they definitely complement each
“Our graduates have found placements and
employment at many different media outlets such as newspapers,
magazines, television and radio stations,” said Karen McCrindle,
journalism program supervisor at UTSC. Field placements have included:
OMNI TV, CBC-Radio, CTV, the National Post, The
Town Crier, and media relations organizations.
As part of Centennial’s field placement
component, Vela was hired as an intern at the Toronto Star, where she
submerged herself in the fast-paced environment of the staff
Vela was recently awarded a $1,000 Centennial
College Scholarship from the Canadian Association of Black Journalists
(CABJ), which aims to highlight accomplishments by promising black
journalists. “It was an honour to receive this award because it
was an investment in me for a bright future in journalism, and it gave
me more confidence,” she said.
When she’s not in the newsroom, Vela runs
track competitively for the university’s Varsity team. If she
had not become interested in journalism, she says she would have
pursued a career as a professional athlete.
Although her main event has been triple jump – for which
she won a provincial gold medal – her new focus is on sprinting
in the 60-metre dash.
Vela plans to graduate in June 2010 from the joint program in journalism and is considering a graduate degree in African studies.
The joint programs combine the best in university and college education bringing together exceptional faculty at the forefront of their fields and real experience in cutting-edge environments. Get a head start on your career. Visit www.utsc.utoronto.ca/jtprogs