Tracy Thomas beat out candidates from across the country when she scored a paid internship with The Globe and Mail. The fourth-year Communications student will spend the next five weeks working on the publication’s five-day-a-week podcast, The Decibel, which breaks down a recent news story or topical issue.

Initially, she assumed putting herself out there among a national field of students would be too competitive, and chose not to apply. But when professors Neill Fitzpatrick, Dr. Rey Rosales and Dr. Steve Lillebeun told her that she would be a good fit, she reconsidered.

Just days before the deadline, Thomas prepared her application, chose her portfolio pieces and gathered reference letters from professors. A week later, she was informed that she had been shortlisted and was invited for an interview.

“I've had instructors and colleagues say, ‘Oh, you're really good at this.’ But a lot of times I don't see that in myself, not because I'm not confident but because I critique my own work very harshly,” says Thomas. “So when I got accepted, it made me feel like I belonged, like I was in the right place.”

That feeling of belonging is something that confirmed that Thomas had made the right decision to return to school for her second degree in a new country.

“My first degree was in law from Lagos, Nigeria. I got on a flight December 26, 2018, and  arrived in Edmonton about two days later.” In the four years since, Thomas not only pursued a degree, but this spring also earned her Canadian citizenship (hear more about her journey to MacEwan in her own words here).

Her time in the Bachelor of Communications Studies program has allowed Thomas to explore various mediums for storytelling, with audio being her favourite thus far.

“I really like the power of not seeing who's talking to you and being able to still relate to their stories. Whenever an assignment calls for video or audio, I'll lean towards audio.”

Though Thomas will be working exclusively in the podcasting field during the internship, she hopes to explore other forms of audio communication in her career. She finds radio particularly interesting, and says that the tasks she’s doing with The Globe and Mail will be beneficial experience for branching out into radio in the future.

“I’ll be pitching story ideas, chasing down leads and finding people to come on the podcast,” she says. She’s been paired with a mentor who will help her through her internship, which officially began at the end of April.

Though a field placement is a requirement for completing her degree, Thomas feels particularly grateful for the opportunity she’s been given. “Working with The Globe and Mail and getting paid for it – it's beyond luck. I don’t see how it could be better than that.”

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