Congratulations to BCIT Broadcast and Online Journalism student Sean Park, a recipient of the 2023 Jack Webster Foundation Student Journalism Award. Sean is one of seven journalism students in BC to receive this prestigious award that celebrates excellence in journalism.
“Sean has embraced his training at BCIT with incredible enthusiasm since day one, says Christine German, Program Head, BCIT Broadcast and Online Journalism program. “He brings a strong work ethic to everything he does and, despite the heavy course load, still finds time to volunteer with various student initiatives at BCIT. We’re proud of his work and know he has the drive to succeed in a career in journalism.”
Forging a path to a career in journalism
Sean has always wanted to become a journalist. Growing up in South Korea, he fondly recalls watching the evening news every night and being captivated by the reporters’ immersive storytelling.
“I was so impressed with how professional and knowledgeable they were, and I knew I wanted to do that for my career,” says Sean.
After completing his mandatory military service, he took a part-time job at a music video production company where he filmed K-pop and other musical acts. “I just sort of fell into it,” says Sean. “But I was learning a lot and I began to really enjoy being behind the camera.”
During a sit-down with his then manager, Sean told her about his passion for journalism, and she suggested he look into a post-secondary school in Canada called BCIT. Sean explains, “She recommended BCIT for its practical approach to learning, as it was a place where students could apply theories directly to practice as part of their coursework.”
“That’s how I ended up moving to BC and enrolling at BCIT,” says Sean. “It’s been an amazing experience, and the fact that this program offers so many internship opportunities and helps us develop relevant and in-demand skillset that industry seeks make it so rewarding. I’m really grateful to my then manager for the recommendation to BCIT and in guiding me to make my dream of becoming a journalist a reality.”
Embracing a practical and hands-on approach to learning
Sean says what he enjoys most about the Broadcast and Online Journalism program is the real-world, industry experience.
“Once we have learned the fundamentals, we are then challenged to go out in the community and chase news stories,” says Sean. “BCIT is preparing us with practical experience for what it will be like as actual journalists.”
All of Sean’s instructors bring extensive experience and network from newsrooms across Canada. Their established connections with industry professionals, along with their first-hand insights, ensure students are well supported for a successful journalism career.
Sean particularly enjoyed working on a story about a protest at the Ideal Mini School, which later earned him the Jack Webster award.
“It was my first time working alongside reporters from major news outlets like CBC, CTV, and Global, so it was really exciting” says Sean. “I took all my footage, including an interview with the daughter of one of the organizers, and created a two-minute news story.”
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A rewarding international student experience
Sean’s experience as an international student at BCIT has been overwhelmingly positive, and he credits much of it to International Peer Mentoring, a social support program that connects new international students.
“It helped me settle into BCIT very nicely and I got to meet other students from diverse backgrounds,” says Sean. “The program has even inspired me to continue volunteering as a peer mentor during my final term, which I’m really looking forward to.”
His advice for international students thinking of studying abroad at BCIT is to not be worried, even if they may not know a lot about Canadian culture.
“I came here not knowing even the simplest facts about Canada,” says Sean. “But the programs and supportive nature of the BCIT community made for a very welcoming and smooth transition.”
Celebrating excellence in journalism
Sean is honoured to be chosen as a recipient of the 2023 Jack Webster Foundation Student Journalism Award. “Receiving this award means a lot to me because it feels like I’m now truly stepping into the world of journalism,” says Sean.
His outstanding accomplishments as a journalism student has earned him a 4-week internship with CBC in Vancouver, where he will be working closely with producers and reporters in the newsroom. After Sean finishes his CBC internship in the spring of 2024, he hopes to get a job as a reporter in BC. Sean’s long-term goal is to become an international correspondent, and he is also thinking about completing a degree in business.
Journalism training unlike anywhere else
The BCIT Broadcast and Online Journalism provides industry focused and hands-on training for a wide range of careers in journalism. The two-year, full-time diploma program is designed in close consultation with industry, with an emphasis on multi-platform production.
Students are mentored by experienced instructors and develop skills for online, TV, and radio journalism. The program ends with a four-week practicum component where students gain real-world experience working for an industry partner.
The employment rate for BCIT diploma and certificate graduates is 91%*. Discover how you can launch a successful journalism career.
If you are an international student interested in studying at BCIT, learn more about resources and support available to help you get started.
(*Source: BC Student Outcomes, prepared by BC Stats, 2022)