Have you considered working with a mentor through the CUP – CWA Canada mentorship program?

It’s a great way to get advice on your current work and on possible career paths. We have mentors who are print, radio and TV journalists, photographers, videojournalists, and more! They work at CBC, The Canadian Press, APTN, Thomson Reuters, Ottawa Citizen, Victoria Times-Colonist, Montreal Gazette, and other newspapers and media outlets across the country.

You can sign up for the program here and learn more about it here.

Read Justin Fauteux’s account of what it was like to work with a mentor:

Honestly the only regret I have from my experience with the CWA mentorship program is that I waited until my fifth year with a CUP paper to sign up for it. With the “real world” staring me in the face I signed up for the program basically on a whim, expecting to get paired with someone only a few years removed from their time with CUP and who had barely scratched the surface of the journalism industry – which still would’ve been helpful, don’t get me wrong.

To my surprise, I ended up getting paired with Scott Russell, someone I essentially grew up watching on CBC during Hockey Night In Canada broadcasts as well as at the Olympics. But I got much more out of my meeting with Scott than the ability to say “I had coffee with the guy from CBC.” He didn’t have an ego at all – something I’ve heard is true of many TV people – and was able to give me very frank, simple advice about how to break into the industry.

One of my constant frustrations about getting advice from journalists who have already “made it” is that they give suggestions that would have worked when they were getting started 20-30 years ago, ignoring how the business has changed. Scott, however was very helpful and clearly understood the changing nature of the business. He provided some valuable insights on how things worked at CBC Sports and even gave me the names and e-mails of two people in charge of hiring, out of which I got an information interview, the chance for someone at CBC to look at my resume and two valuable contacts. Yes, this may not sound like much, but I really wasn’t expecting one chat with Scott Russell to lead immediately to a job at CBC.

Overall, I was amazed at how easy it was just sit and talk with someone I’d seen on TV so many times. And even now, I still have his contact information and can pick his brain via e-mail or telephone, or even set up another meeting. But I wouldn’t have been able to get that initial e-mail and set up that first meeting had I not signed up for the mentorship program – or at least, it would’ve been far more difficult.

– Justin Fauteux, former Editor-in-Chief of The Cord, Laurier University

The mentorship program is open to all CWA Canada associate members.  Anyone affiliated with a CUP paper can become an associate member by signing up here. Learn more here.

Contact Katherine Lapointe, program coordinator, at cwa@cup.ca or 416-795-8598, if you have any questions.