In the Spring of 2013, Justin Fauteux, the editor of The Cord at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario worked with Scott Russell, a national sports reporter at CBC in Toronto. Here is Justin’s account of their mentorship:
To my surprise, I ended up getting paired with Scott Russell, someone I essentially grew up watching on CBC during Hockey Night In Canada broadcasts as well as at the Olympics. But I got much more out of my meeting with Scott than the ability to say “I had coffee with the guy from CBC.” He didn’t have an ego at all – something I’ve heard is true of many TV people – and was able to give me very frank, simple advice about how to break into the industry.
One of my constant frustrations about getting advice from journalists who have already “made it” is that they give suggestions that would have worked when they were getting started 20-30 years ago, ignoring how the business has changed. Scott, however was very helpful and clearly understood the changing nature of the business. He provided some valuable insights on how things worked at CBC Sports and even gave me the names and e-mails of two people in charge of hiring, out of which I got an information interview, the chance for someone at CBC to look at my resume and two valuable contacts. Yes, this may not sound like much, but I really wasn’t expecting one chat with Scott Russell to lead immediately to a job at CBC.
Overall, I was amazed at how easy it was just sit and talk with someone I’d seen on TV so many times. And even now, I still have his contact information and can pick his brain via e-mail or telephone, or even set up another meeting. But I wouldn’t have been able to get that initial e-mail and set up that first meeting had I not signed up for the mentorship program – or at least, it would’ve been far more difficult.
– Justin Fauteux