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Month: January 2018

Hermione Wilson – Creating your Path


Hello Everyone! Welcome back to Project 5K’s podcast series. Today, we are joined by Hermione Wilson who is a journalist and assistant editor at Dovetail Communications. Dovetail publishes business-to-business magazines in various specializations including spa, food science, wood design, and biology. Hermione will be sharing her path to becoming a journalist and advice for students who are considering options for post-secondary.

What challenges did you have upon finding a career that you enjoy?



When we were children, there was a certain career that sparked our interest and we couldn’t wait to pursue it. As the years go by, our childhood dream fades as we realize that it’s not what we want anymore or we become intrigued with another career. There are also people who feel lost as they don’t know what they want their future to look like.

For many people like myself, post-secondary is quickly approaching and we have to decide on a path that suits our abilities, interests, and career goals. It is hard to envision a clear destination point especially when we are not exposed to many careers.

Hermione started as an English major at an American college. After a few weeks, she decided to switch into a communications program with a double major in French.  After graduating, Hermione was debating if she should pursue further education or look for work immediately.

This is Hermione’s journey to discovering journalism:

1.She volunteered at an organization to support Haiti after the earthquake in 2010.

2.The volunteer coordinator discovered that she knew French and offered her an opportunity to visit Haiti.

3.After her trip to Haiti, she worked as an advertising manager for a small, Christian magazine in her hometown.

4.She eventually took on a writing role at the Christian magazine.

5.She pursued an accelerated post-graduate journalism program at Humber College.

6.She received a position at Dovetail Communications!

There is a lot of pressure for us to plan out our entire life at a young age; however, one opportunity will lead to another and we will eventually end up in the right place.

What advice do you have for students who are unsure of what to pursue in post-secondary?


There are some people who know exactly what they want to become and have outlined specific steps to reach their goal. It can be frustrating if you are unsure of what you want to pursue when your friends seem like they have everything figured out.

Hermione suggests researching about careers that you can apply your strengths to, job shadowing, and speaking with people in different professions. She also suggests starting with a degree in a subject area that you enjoy in highschool. Your opportunities are never limited by the first degree you receive because pursuing further education is always an option.

How did you overcome doubts about whether or not you’ll succeed as an adult?


There are so many successful people out there and you might wonder if you can become like them. Throughout life, there are going be times when you doubt yourself and believe that you can not achieve your goals. Surround yourself with a good group of people who encourage you to see your potential.

During Hermione’s undergraduate degree, she focused on getting through the five years. After Hermione graduated, she was a bit overwhelmed as she was unsure if university had prepared her for the real world. To ease her worries, Hermione said to herself,

“I put in the work, it’s just a matter of finding opportunities.”

It will be hard and competitive to achieve success, but perseverance and a good work ethic will open up opportunities to you.

Being a journalist, does writing become a chore rather than an interest or a passion?



There are certain skills that are required for each career. For example, journalists need to write on a daily basis. Sometimes, doing a task repetitively can become a chore even if you loved it in the beginning. Nevertheless, an advantage Hermione enjoys about writing so often is the improvement she sees in her articles.

“There’s a story that really sparks [my] interest again or [I] speak to an interesting person and I want to convey that in my writing.”

Every job eventually becomes a routine, but there will be certain moments that remind you of why you became intrigued with it in the first place. However, if you completely lose interest, it is never too late to have a career change.

From being a student to working as a journalist, how have your experiences changed you as a person?


Believe it or not, Hermione used to be a shy person and found it difficult to approach people. However, she became confident over time as she had more practice with interviewing people. To succeed in a profession that fascinates you, take as many opportunities as you can to master the required skills.

How can someone become a confident and effective communicator?


Connecting with different people is amazing because you can listen to their stories and learn from their experiences. However, the first step is to approach people. Never let your insecurities outweigh the opportunity to get to know someone. Try to erase the negative thoughts in your mind telling you that you’re not good enough or smart enough to talk to someone. As Hermione says,

“Don’t be afraid to open up to people, be curious, and be willing to admit that you don’t know everything.”

Asking someone a question can flourish into a great conversation; fear shouldn’t be the only thing holding you back from cultivating a bond with people.

Final Words


There was a video production lab at Humber College that Hermione wanted to attend. However, she thought that it would be too technical for her. Hermione regrets letting that opportunity slip away because learning is the objective of being in an academic setting.

Many different opportunities will be presented to you in life. If it interests you, even a little, take the chance and learn more about it. There will be times when you shy away from something because you don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of people who are more experienced than you. However, everyone needs a starting point to improve their craft.

“Especially when you’re in school, learn new skills. Don’t be afraid to try everything.”

Even though the future may seem foggy right now because you can not see where you’ll end up, having patience and working hard each step along the way will bring opportunities to you if you’re willing to take them.

You will find a path that makes you happy. Good Luck!



Don’t do it for the Resume

As I enter my final year of high school, thinking about post-secondary fills a good chunk of my already barely-there free time. And, of course, this isn’t just me. Many people are frantically researching schools and programs, furiously scrolling through university forums in hopes of finding helpful application tips, bombarding their post-secondary friends with questions ranging from campus life to academic workload, and trying to beef up their resume.

We all know that grades are important, but they are not everything. [Don’t get me wrong, getting the highest grades you possibly can is always a good idea.] More and more universities are including personal profiles to get a glimpse of who you are as a person. Yes, a book-smart student probably will succeed in university, but a book-smart student with excellent communication skills developed through community involvement is even better. Rounded students who have a background in many different areas, ranging from academics to sports to various other extracurriculars, are sure to have essential skills that traditional school simply cannot teach. Being immersed in teams that depend on you, making professional connections, and leading a team are just a few of many experiences that help you to develop skills for future (and present) success.

That being said, I have heard countless students say, “I need to join as many teams as possible so I can put it on my university application” or even “I don’t like doing this, but it will make me look more qualified for this program.” Essentially, they are doing it for the resume/university application. And this is NOT what you should be doing. If you are truly passionate about the activity and are willing, even excited, to put time and effort into it, then you should 100% go for it!

On the other hand, if you are only doing it for the resume, I advise you to think again. Do you really want to be spending your time on something you don’t even like? Are you going to put in enough effort into the activity so that you will learn from it?

Most of the time, doing things for the resume does not only affect yourself. Most likely, you will be involved with a team. And, as I am sure you can relate, nobody likes having a team member who doesn’t care and doesn’t do anything.

Demonstrating leadership, commitment, teamwork, and creativity in a small organization are way more significant than just saying “I was a part of this giant charity.” Simply being a part of something doesn’t mean that you have done something.

With this in mind, do things you are interested in. Do things that you will put effort into. Do things that you will learn from. And, by all means, fill your university applications with descriptions of what you have done, the impact you have made, and what you have learned in the process!

The takeaway? Do things you love, regardless of how “good” they look on a resume. You will learn much more this way.

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