Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Student Success

Blogging from Milan sparks passion for journalism

Jessica Wallace started out taking a variety of courses — business, philosophy, political science and English.

Then she went for a semester to Milan with TRU’s Study Abroad program, and blogged about her experiences. That, plus a strong sense of social conviction and community, pointed the way to journalism.

“I appreciated the opportunity to learn about the world and took the following semester off to backpack before returning to Kamloops.”

Back at TRU, Jessica took advantage of opportunities in the journalism program to learn outside the classroom.

“One of my professors introduced me to a mentor at Kamloops This Week, paving the way for an internship and, ultimately, my current job at the same newspaper years later. I'm not sure I would have been privy to that kind of exposure or opportunity at a bigger university.”

The student newspaper welcomed her volunteer work, and provided valuable experience.

“For me, working at The Omega while studying at TRU was a way to practice what I learned in the classroom while getting a few bylines for my resumé.”

Jessica Wallace
For me, working at The Omega while studying at TRU was a way to practice what I learned in the classroom while getting a few bylines for my resumé. Jessica Wallace

Writing career a good fit for born story teller

As a boy, Coleman Molnar wrote short stories and his grandmother, a professor, would edit them. He’s all grown up now, and writes for a living, thanks to the TRU journalism program.

“I liked the idea of being able to get up in the morning and write about something different every day. It was a great fit from the start, playing to my creative and personal skills, and a terribly fun time to boot.”

Coleman thrived in TRU’s small classes and the individual attention he got from professors and fellow students.

“The relationships I built with my professors and classmates during my time in the program were lasting and very impactful. I continue to keep in touch with them, personally and professionally.”

An internship and a stint at The Omega student newspaper helped Coleman assemble a collection of clippings for his resume.

“Looking back, those first few positions were critical and really set me out at an advantage against other students who weren't given the opportunity to get published.”

Now working in Toronto, Coleman is eager to get back to the B.C. Interior.

“Kamloops is awesome! Fun and hot in the summer, and fun and not too cold in the winter. It's cheap, there are plenty of great job opportunities for students, and it's just the right size city.”

Coleman Molnar
The relationships I built with my professors and classmates during my time in the program were lasting and very impactful. Coleman Molnar

Internships lay foundation for career

Wade Tomko grew up in a family where the news was constantly on the radio or TV, so he was always in tune with what was going on in the world. Over time, he came to believe that people have a right to know about the events that affect them.

This initially led to plans for a major in political science, but the courses he took left him feeling disconnected.

“I would eventually leave TRU to go out and explore the world and to find myself, but not before taking a course in multimedia journalism. It showed me that the work of journalists is meticulous and critical, but also rewarding and fun. Since then, I haven't looked back on my career choice.”

Entering his third year, Wade has an appreciation for the extensive experience that professors bring from the media and communications industry. He has also seen how journalism differs from other programs with its hands-on approach.

“You could describe it as the trade of academics. The program prepares aspiring journalists extremely well, giving students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with professional video and audio equipment and software.”

Internships give students real-world experience and a chance to expand their portfolios.

“I felt like I had an actual job within a media outlet. The realization of what would be expected from me in my field before finishing my program has helped me more than anything else thus far.”

Wade Tomko
I felt like I had an actual job within a media outlet. Wade Tomko