Tessa Kalinowski

Communications Specialist, Canada West Foundation
Graduated in 2012
1. Where did you do your internship?

I did a bunch of them. I did two summers working for the newspapers in both Sherwood Park, and Fort Saskatchewan and in my third year, I did a summer in Trail, BC working for the Trail Daily Times.


2. Knowing what you know now, what advice would you have liked to give yourself as you started your internship?

Be open to as many possibilities as you can because you might find that your career interests change with work experience. And be aware that just because you do a lot of internships and a lot of extra work, it doesn't necessarily mean you're going to succeed right out of school in terms of getting the job you want when you're done.

3. What is something that really stands out when you think of your time at MRU journalism?

I would say it would probably be relationships not only with your fellow students, but with the professors, as well.

4. How transferable were the skills you acquired in your education?

Highly transferable, they’re not just specific to working in a newsroom, which is obviously what the journalism degree in particular is geared to. But a big part of the communications field is building relationships and being knowledgeable on a broad range of subjects and being able to convey ideas and perspectives to a wider audience who may or may not have the same level of understanding as you do about a certain subject. And the writing and research aspect of my education has also been transferable across all my career fields.

5. In your career, what type of work has most excited you and why?

The ability to present information in a way to people that's going to influence them, or help them make a decision on something that's going to have a direct impact on their life.

6. What is the most important but unwritten rule that you’ve learned on the job?

Your relationships are the most important part of your job, not actually the job itself. How well you can work with the people within your office and outside of it to get the job done is essential.

7. Who has most inspired you along the way and why?

I don't think I have just one person. As my career has changed, the people who have inspired me have also changed. But I do feel like there are some people that I've always kept coming back to for advice and mentoring, that kind of thing. A couple would be former professors, editors and colleagues.