|Established as Toronto's first public college in 1966, Centennial College offers programs in business, communications, community and health studies, science and engineering technology, general arts, hospitality and transportation.|
Jays Broadcaster Speaks to Centennial College Students
By Jordan Reginato
Mike Wilner says the key to success in the sports journalism industry is simple: be ready for any opportunity that comes along.
The host of JaysTalk on the FAN590 came to The Centre for Creative Communications, Centennial College on Jan. 23., 2009 to speak to first-year students of the sports journalism graduate program about his broadcasting career and what to expect when entering the industry.
He emphasized that advancing in the work force requires making good impressions amongst peers and definitely requires some luck.
"Never say no to any opportunity given," Wilner says. "And always take advantage of every opportunity."
Born and raised in Toronto , Wilner is a University of Toronto graduate who gained his first broadcasting experience covering sports on the campus radio station.
After U. of T. , he found himself covering games for minor league single-A and double-A baseball teams.
Wilner's local career began with 680 News in 1995 covering sports - a gig that would eventually led to his current position as the pre- and post-game host of the Toronto Blue Jays coverage on the FAN 590.
But Wilner did not earn his promotions because of a broadcasting or journalism degree. He graduated with a degree in psychology and cautioned aspiring sports journalists they may initially struggle.
"Interns generally come with a journalism background and employers will look for that," Wilner says. "Having a different background [of studies] may help, but any journalism experience really helps."
He agrees that having Centennial College create a sports journalism program will be a good stepping-stone to succeed in the industry for those lacking a journalism background.
Wilner aspires to teach his peers or upcoming students about the broadcasting industry later in his career.
The Sports Journalism Program features 12 courses over 12 consecutive months and is unique in Canada . It offers training in print, online, radio and television and finishes with a six week professional placement.
For more information about the Sports Journalism Program, contact program coordinator Malcolm Kelly at email@example.com. .