Steven Gelis, RSJ ’15, Integrated Marketing Specialist at Accenture
How has your journalism degree helped you?
I made many connections at Ryerson while pursuing a journalism degree that I otherwise never would have made. Being a Ryerson journalism grad directly led to my current job.
What do you think the RSJ experience offers that you can’t get anywhere else?
Ryerson acknowledges that it is located in one of the biggest media markets in North America and uses it to its advantage. On day one, I was on the streets of Toronto interviewing complete strangers. You quickly learn how to approach people on the street, ask the right questions, and get over the fears associated with doing this. Not all journalism is “streeters” but doing them so early on helps build a foundation that other journalism students don’t get until much later in their careers.
What have you done since graduating/how did you arrive at your current position?
I work at Accenture – a leading global professional services company. I began my career as a media relations intern and have since become a marketing specialist for the company. I credit the faculty at Ryerson for helping me find this great opportunity. My resume was handed off to Accenture and I applied for the role. My supervisor when I began was also a Ryerson journalism grad.
Thinking back to your first year self, how do you think they would react to where you are now?
I think my first-year self would be happy with how my life and career has turned out. Since graduating, I’ve gotten married, bought a house, got a dog and have progressed in my career at a great company. None of this would have been possible without the education I received at Ryerson and the connections I made along the way.
What’s one of your favourite memories from j-school?
My favourite memory is the first year reporting class. Every week was different, I met a lot of great people and had a great professor.
Can you talk about one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a journalist?
I am not a journalist, but while at school…one big challenge was sources not replying. Never think you are not a good journalist because you are reporting for the school paper or for an assignment and a source isn’t returning your calls or emails.
Any memorable RSJ professors during your time at Ryerson?
Kamal Al-Solaylee, Lisa Taylor, Adrian Ma and Kathy Vey were all great. If you have the opportunity to get in their classes (if they still teach at Ryerson) do it!
What advice would you give to current journalism students?
Do as many extracurriculars as possible to gain experience and go to any industry events you get the opportunity to attend. Journalism is a very small industry. You will encounter the same people for much of your life, whether they are sources, professors or classmates, so be nice and treat everyone you meet with respect.
Also, be open to a career that isn’t in journalism.