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Stephanow turns passion into a career after college

Stephanow turns passion into a career after college

Written On: 01 August, 2017

“I wake up every day excited for work and that feeling makes me know I made it in life,” says Cally Stephanow (Class of ’15).

Those are exciting words for someone who’s just starting their career in news media. 

Originally from Roblin, Man., Cally enrolled in Assiniboine’s two-year Interactive Media Arts – Media Specialization (IMA) program after talking to a graduate of the college who suggested it as one that would help her get the skills necessary to break into news.

It turned out to be excellent advice. Cally’s second-year practicum placement at CTV Regina turned into a full-time job. She’s now a news anchor and video journalist—a career many would call glamorous, albeit fast-paced and demanding in nature. 

“At 22-years-old I was able to get my dream job. I wouldn’t be able to say that if it wasn’t for me going to IMA. Working in news is a fast-paced work environment, but it’s fun and exciting every day,” she says. 

“With my job I feel like I have the key to the city. I get to see, do things and talk to people that most don’t – all because I have a camera on my shoulder. This job has allowed me to tell the stories of my community.”

Part of a growing trend of ‘college after university’ students, Cally completed her Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandon University. And while she has absolutely no regrets about her time at university and maintains that her degree is useful, she credits her college diploma as the tool that helped her get started in a career she now loves. 

“There are university journalism programs that are also beneficial for careers in journalism, but IMA teaches more than journalism; it introduces students to all of media,” she says.

“From putting together a news cast to a radio show to creating our own websites and documentaries, IMA gave us all the skills we needed to pursue any field in media. The program focuses on giving students the basics of everything media, from equipment to computer programs to learning how to use effective communication and social media.”

Of course, Cally’s passion for news and storytelling combined with a strong work ethic and positive attitude shouldn’t be understated. While the skills learned in college can hand a graduate the keys to a long and rewarding career in their chosen field, it’s ultimately up to them to make it happen.

“Our [IMA] instructors were excellent resources in helping us make connections along the way. They introduced us to media professionals in Manitoba and also gave us part-time work. Our success always seemed top-of-mind to them,” says Cally. 

“IMA is composed of instructors who are intelligent, experienced, friendly, fun, and determined for each of their students to succeed. I constantly felt a sense of family in the program.” 

When asked what kind of advice she would give to someone considering the Interactive Media Arts program at Assiniboine, she believes the work is worth the reward. 

“It’s going to be a lot of hard work with a lot of long days and nights, but this program is going to give you the skills you need to get a job in what I think is the best field to work in,” she says. 

Callly also encourages future students to get in the right mindset for the type of work they’re going to be doing in the program before they begin their studies.

“Watch news, read news, listen to news, watch documentaries and movies, look at photos, animation, graphics and social media. Consume as much content as possible because when you enter the program, you will be creating that content.”

“If you’re willing to work hard, you will see results. But it’s also a lot of fun; you’re going to make amazing memories and meet amazing people along the way.”


Assiniboine’s two-year Interactive Media Arts – Media Specialization program teaches students to write, announce, shoot, record, edit and produce items for broadcast, cable and audio/visual departments. The Interactive Specialization of the program teaches writing, design, image editing, and coding of interactive applications including web, mobile, animation and basic game development. An eight-week work practicum at the end of your second year of study to help you build on your strengths and start making industry connections before graduation.

 

Below: Cally Stephanow (left) co-anchoring news at CTV Regina. Cally Stephanow sits behind a desk at CTV Regina.