Sports Journalism Grad Jessica Ng - The Journey to Her Dream Job
Jessica Ng is the host of CTV Morning Live Saskatoon, but her journey to this role has led her in many different directions. She started with a degree in music and graduated from York University in 2012. She then moved to Spain to continue with music and graduated from the Berklee College of Music with a Masters degree. However, after teaching music for a few years, she knew she wanted something more, and this is what led her to the Sports Journalism program at Centennial College.
Jessica says the program taught her how to talk and write properly in a journalistic setting, as well as learn the foundations of journalism. She says, “It’s great that it’s only a year. You get fast-tracked into your career, which is a benefit over multi-year programs.” After Centennial, Jessica had a placement at Global News in Kingston, Ontario where she learned how to direct news and practice reporting. This led to her staying in Kingston and hosting live television for Cogeco YourTV, which Jessica describes as a “thrilling experience.”
With live television hosting and reporting experience under her belt, she was offered a job by CTV in Fredericton, in which she excitedly accepted. What she found out next, however, was something completely unexpected. On March 5, 2018 Jessica was diagnosed with blood cancer. She says she was in complete denial about the diagnosis as she had no family history and never thought it would happen. Just when Jessica thought her chance at this exciting job was over, CTV offered to save her job while she received treatment. Jessica says she was speechless; “this company had no reason to save the job.” Because of the kindness from CTV, she was able to pursue this exciting venture seven months later after finishing her treatment.
Although exciting, this profession is far from easy. Jessica says, “video journalism is one of the hardest jobs out there.” She describes the duties of the job as a lot more than one may think. “There’s scheduling, producing, filming, set up, editing, transcribing, script writing, and more.” A majority of people assume having a reporting job involves strictly reporting, but this is not the case. She says, “Getting into television is not glitz and glamour, it’s hard work. A host/anchor is responsible for a lot, such as looking for videos, structure, and editing. You’re doing as much as you can in the changing world of journalism.”
Jessica’s take away from all of her experience is to “maximize your opportunities and look for ways to extend yourself, as it can take you wherever you want to go.” Jessica says she has been able to travel across the country, tell stories, and meet new people which has been an incredible experience for her. Her dad always says, “the worst they can say is no” and Jessica took that with her and ran with it. She says, “If I’m not told no and I’m not offending someone, I’m going to go for it. Everything is an experience and it adds to you as a professional and a person.”
Her experience from Centennial’s Sports Journalism program also brought along many lessons. The program coordinator, Malcolm Kelly, told Jessica to look for and take advantage of opportunities while putting yourself out there, which she says is something she does every day. Jessica says throughout the program, Malcolm talked about continuing to work hard through challenges. The program also taught her that you can be as talented and as smart as someone else, but if you have more endurance and stamina through the challenges, you might get an opportunity someone else might not get. These are some of the key messages that Jessica carries with her in her career today.
Her advice to students is to “take every opportunity you can.” She says, “Centennial offers so many opportunities so you need to put yourself out there for those opportunities or make them for yourself, which is the biggest thing.”
To follow Jessica’s journey, you can check out her website, here.
By Alexandra Few, Communications - Professional Writing student