Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The 'evils' of unpaid internships?

Every other week an article or discussion surrounding the evils of unpaid internships is addressed in some medium. Here's today's: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/06/26/f-unpaid-internships-labour-laws.html

I think everyone can sympathize that the idea of ‘working for free’ is unacceptable. So let’s explore and clarify the idea that an unpaid internship is ‘working for free’.

First - an internship is meant to be an extension of the learning process. At some - if not most – colleges, the internship is an actual dedicated course with an assigned code and credit value. The idea being the ‘learning and teaching experience’ moves away from the classroom and into a real workplace environment.  At said internship, a supervisor from a recognized company spends a predetermined amount of hours supervising and training the intern, directing his or her day, and then evaluating the work and work habits of the intern. This evaluation includes everything from punctuality to professionalism. The supervisor – who, by the way, does this for free -  then provides the college with an evaluation of the interns' performance at the internship (much like a grade). Keeping this in mind – does it not make perfect sense that a student would not be paid for this experience? Students are not paid to attend classes, and an internship is an 'off-campus' class - part of the practical learning experience.

Second clarification:  a ‘proper’ internship has a structure in place that allows the intern to assist with the duties of those around them. It is not designed to take away a paid position. Assisting in various departments and contributing to the end result is how the intern gains experiential knowledge. Some internships are more hands on then others, but at the end of the day, the intern takes away as much - or as little- as he or she determines. The good take-a-ways are obvious and include portfolio building opportunities and networking strategies. The not-so-obvious good take-a-ways include exposure to different personality traits, conflict resolution tactics, and company philosophies.  Even a bad experience can lead to a good take-away...”I definitely don’t want to do this job" or "I don't want to work for this company” being two. The point is – an internship is a safe way for a dry ‘workplace’ run. I always tell my students…”if you don’t like it, it’s only 160 hours. If you do like it, it’s still only 160 hours”.

Of note, here are the legal guidelines when it comes to the role of an unpaid internship*

      The training is similar to that which is given in a vocational school.

       The training is for the benefit of the intern. You receive some benefit from the training, such as new knowledge or skills.

       The employer derives little, if any, benefit from the activity of the intern while he or she is being trained.

       Your training doesn't take someone else's job.

       Your employer isn't promising you a job at the end of your training.

       You have been told that you will not be paid for your time.

Have there been problems with internships in the past? There will always be people and companies that try to take advantage of the system, but most companies are in it for the right reasons, and most experiences are well worth the time the student dedicates to his or her internship.

More often than not – the intern experience leads to something great in the end, and if the student can do some self-reflection on their experience – he or she can leave their internship with a lot more than just a certain amount of hours under his or her belt.
As an internship coordinator for the past 12 years, I can tell you that unpaid internships have directly - or indirectly - led to hundreds of employment opportunities for those who were successful in their placements. Yes - it would be nice to be paid for everything we do – (don’t get me, a Mother of 3 started…) but in the case of internships- students are - in fact - being paid… in experience and opportunity.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

680 News gets you Working in Radio

John Hinnen, VP of News for Rogers Media visited his alma mater today.

Hinnen, who was part of the very first Radio cohort at Humber in 1972, admitted he got into radio to impress a girl. She ended up marrying someone else, but Hinnen ended up with a wonderful career in radio - primarily at Rogers. His journey began in 1974 where he started as a weekend anchor for CFTR (now 680 News) and worked his way up to Vice President of News for Rogers Media, working closely with his mentor and friend, the late Ted Rogers Junior. 

Hinnen offered Humber Radio students some sound advice when it comes to employment: "be versatile, come prepared and have a willingness to learn".

Hinnen maintains radio is a solid element of the constantly evolving media brand, and its strength and advantage is the local element.

He also noted how proud he is of the 680 news internship program
which allows Canada's number 1 news station to 'grow its own' talent.
In 2012, Hinnen said 25% of 680 News interns were hired on - great
news for you!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Post your profile on Working in Radio!

Interested in posting your profile on

Working in Radio?

Consideration will be given to those who meet the following criteria:

  1. Successful completion* of the Humber College Radio Broadcasting Program (Diploma or Post-Graduate Certificate), with a 75% GPA
  2. Successful completion** of the Humber College Radio Broadcasting Internship credit
  3. Willingness to relocate
  4. An operational LinkedIn, Soundcloud and Twitter page

*Clean attendance and punctuality record; probation-free; faculty endorsed
** Positive evaluation supplied by internship supervisor

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Peter Mansbridge visit to Humber

CBC Chief News Correspondent Peter Mansbridge paid a visit to the Humber North Campus on Monday February 11, 2013 to speak to the Radio Humber students (http://radio.humber.ca/). Mansbridge’s appearance was the result of a second year Radio Broadcast networking assignment designed to reach out to influential broadcast industry members and bring them into Humber to speak to radio students.

(L-R: SMSIT Dean Guillermo Acosta, Humber Radio students Alyssa Alley, Solange Bitar, Josh Hensen and Matt Carty; Humber President Chris Whitaker; CBC Chief News Correspondent Peter Mansbridge; Humber Radio Program Coordinator Sheila Walsh; Humber Radio students Nicole Garbutt and James Sebastian-Scott.)

Mansbridge, who one student noted ‘oozed integrity’, did not disappoint. He encouraged the Humber radio students to stay unbiased when reporting the news, reminding them their job is to “cover the story, lay out the facts, and let the audience decide how they want to feel about it”.  He also advised the students, who are 10 weeks away from completing the program that they should be open to “thinking big, but starting small”,  using his own career trajectory as an example. Mansbridge noted his humble beginnings in Churchill, Manitoba were instrumental in forming who he is today. He also reminded students that “reporters are human, and they are deeply affected by some of the stories they cover”. Reassuring the students that this is okay, he advised a strategy may be to keep their focus on the fact that the listener is “depending on you to keep them calm”

Monday, February 11, 2013

Canadian Broadcasters listing

It may seem like the radio industry is down to a mere handful, but in reality, there are many broadcast companies across this county. Here is a running list...

Acadia Broadcasting

Operating 10 ‘very community minded’ radio stations in Eastern Canada and Northern Ontario, Acadia Broadcasting has been on the air since 1928.

To explore employment opportunities, visit http://www.acadiabroadcastinglimited.ca/

Astral Radio

Astral is referenced as Canada’s largest radio broadcaster with 84 licensed radio stations in 50 markets across Canada. The company employs close to 3000 people at its facilities in MontrĂ©al, Toronto, and a number of cities throughout Canada. To explore employment opportunities, visit


Bell Media

Bell Media Radio currently owns 35 radio stations across Canada, broadcasting in 16 markets, including most of Canada’s largest radio markets

To explore employment opportunities, visit http://jobs.bce.ca/go/jobs-with-bell-media/357957/

Blackburn Radio Group

The family owned Blackburn Radio Group owns 13 radio stations serving Southwestern and Midwestern Ontario. The company has a deep commitment to the local communities in which it serves. To explore employment opportunities, visit http://blackburnradio.com/careers

Corus Radio

Corus Radio’s 37 stations reach more than seven million Canadians each week with a variety of programming in six formats. Corus was the first Canadian broadcaster to feature an iPhone streaming application and the first to offer Apple iTunes integration through radio station websites. For employment opportunities, visit http://www.corusent.com/home/Corporate/Careers/tabid/1703/Default.aspx

Durham Radio

Durham Radio owns and operates 5 radio stations in Ontario.

To explore employment opportunities, visit http://www.kx96.fm/files/stations.html

Evanov Radio Group

In business since 1984, Evanov Radio Group (ERG) is one of Canada’s few independent radio broadcasters. To explore employment opportunities – visit http://www.evanovradio.com/careers.html

Harvard Broadcasting


Larche Communications

Based in Midland, Ontario – Larche Communications operates four radio stations – two in Simcoe County, one in Owen Sound, and one in Sudbury. The company motto is MOCHA – Make our customers happy always.

To explore employment opportunities, visit http://www.larchecom.com/contact-us/

Rawlco Radio


Rogers Radio

Rogers prides itself on being Canada’s most-listened to broadcasting company, owning more than 50 radio stations in markets across Canada.

To explore employment opportunities, visit http://www.rogers.com/web/Careers.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=C_CS

Vista Radio

Vista radio employs 200 people and owns and operates 38 radio stations in Northern and Western Canada. To explore employment opportunities, visit http://www.vistaradio.ca/careers/

Let's get you Working in Radio!

The journey from graduation to employment now has a compass...

Working in Radio  brings new and emerging radio broadcast graduates directly to Canada's broadcast industry, offering hiring managers a more intimate and needs specific method of scouting talent and future employees.

Get  Working in Radio  working for you today!

Broadcast graduates ~ follow  Working in Radio  on twitter for job postings, in addition to your favourites:

On twitter:
On the web:

Making contact and email etiquette

Are you getting the right message across in an email? Doctor Daniel Goleman explains the complexities of emailing.


Under 18: is radio still relevant? Yes!

2013 Humber Radio student Jamie Balogun http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/jamie-balogun/63/8ba/863/
launched an ambitious research project into the radio listening habits of people under the age of 18.

Jamie went into three Toronto area schools and surveyed 100 people under the age of 18 and asked the following questions:

What radio stations do kids (surveyed) under 18 listen to most (in Toronto)?

#1) Flow 93.5 – 39%

#2) Virgin 99.9 – 23%

#3) Kiss 92.5 – 19%

#4) 102.1 The Edge – 8%

#5) Z103.5 – 4%

#6) Boom 97.3 – 4%

#7) CBC Radio – 2%

#8) G98.7 – 1%

How often do kids (surveyed) listen to radio each week?

#1) 1-3 hours – 77%

#2) 6-10 hours – 13%

#3) 3-5 hours – 7%

#4) Less than 1 hour – 3%

Where do kids (surveyed) go to listen to music the most?

#1) Smartphone – 64%

#2) iPod – 21%

#3) Computer/Internet – 9%

#4) Radio – 6%

What do kids (surveyed) like the most about radio?

#1) Music – 80%

#2) Announcers – 17%

#3) News/Traffic/Gossip – 3%

What do kids (surveyed) hate about radio?

#1) Commercials – 74%

#2) Announcers talking too much – 14%

#3) Static – 12%

If kids (surveyed) could change one thing about the radio, what would it be?

#1) Less commercials – 58%

#2) More music – 23%

#3) More contests/prizes – 12%

#4) More age relevant topics – 7%

What topics do kids (surveyed) enjoying listening to?

#1) Pop culture/gossip – 65%

#2) News – 22%

#3) General interest/talk radio – 13%

What programming do kids (surveyed) not enjoy listening to?

#1) News – 61%

#2) Sports – 39%

Do kids (surveyed) still find radio an effective medium?

#1) Yes – 72%

#2) No – 28%

Jamie's findings indicate that radio remains alive and well in Toronto because there are existing stations that are programming to this age group. If none of these stations existed, how many future stakeholders would be listening? You, as the future programmers of radio, need to keep your future audience (customers) in mind! Kids count, and radio needs to count on kids!  

Branding yourself - it's easy!

Branding yourself using digital and social media

Sheila Walsh, Program Coordinator, Radio Broadcasting Diploma Program at Humber College, 2012

In today’s competitive broadcasting market, a digital portfolio to accompany your tangible portfolio is a must. Start thinking of yourself as a dynamic brand and create a synergy between all facets of your brand (logo, format, design etc.). Then, begin pitching your brand to the masses!

5 simple steps to effective personal brand networking in a digital and social media environment:

  1. Open a free Soundcloud account http://soundcloud.com/. Soundcloud allows you to store and share your audio (demos, examples of audio work etc)
  2. Start a free Twitter account https://twitter.com/, and keep all posts for this account very professional, and industry related. Start following broadcast hiring managers and broadcast companies, as well as industry sites.
  3. Open a free Linkedin account http://ca.linkedin.com/ and transcribe your skills as effectively as possible. Have an industry mentor review before going live. Then link your twitter and soundcloud accounts to your Linkedin account. Start exploring connections and professionally approach them with an invite to your Linkedin connections.
  4. Investigate the free blog and web design sites below*, and start designing your own website.
  5. Link all your social media together. You are now a brand that covers many digital and social media venues.
Blogging sites:

Webpage e-portfolio sites: