Friday, March 23, 2012

I once drank Courvoisier with Jay-Z -- My letter to UBC's Graduate School of Journalism

January 10, 2012

Graduate School of Journalism
University of British Columbia
6388 Crescent Road
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z2

Dear Admissions Committee,

I once drank Courvoisier with Jay-Z. His palms were soft as mine met his for a handshake, and his “Thank you” fell genuine on my ears after I said how much I loved his sold-out performance. It was a quick interaction, but indelible and noteworthy nonetheless.  

Noteworthy because, while I never got to interview the rapper that night, it is to the credit of my experience in journalism that I gained access to the cordoned area in that seedy Edmonton bar. Being a journalist has made me a confident woman, adept at connecting with people, gaining their trust, and telling their stories – which I have done with great satisfaction over the past nine years.

But I want more. I yearn not just to keep working as a journalist for the mainstream media, but also to delve deeper into the study of journalism. I want to explore myself through specific questions related to journalism, apply my knowledge in the field – specifically in print and online – and eventually teach my craft at the university level.

My goals over the next two to five years include developing professional relationships as a freelancer with the Globe and Mail, and the Walrus, as well as having completed a first draft of my non-fiction novel. Narrative journalism and writing a novel are great interests of mine that have been nurtured over the past two years, as I have studied with some of Canada’s finest creative writing professors. Their confidence in my ability to write creative non-fiction has bolstered my choice to venture further into narrative journalism.

This choice has led me to the UBC program, where I believe the research skills and mentorship opportunities availed to me through my studies will advance my professional goals – and they might even help me get that interview with Jay-Z.

Thank you for considering my application.

(Below picture not included in my letter to UBC.)

Jay-Z's manager hooked me up with front-and-centre
seats for the rapper's show in Calgary the next night. 

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