By Linda White
Special to The Sun
She's climbed into a dumpster to nail a company that claimed it was recycling and challenged college administrators who tried to censor a story she felt needed to be told. That commitment to getting the job done is paying off for journalism student Cara Loverock, helping her land a coveted internship at ABC News in New York.
Cara Loverock, 23, a U of T graduate, landed a coveted internship at ABC News in New York.
"This is where I'd like to end up, so I thought I might as well try to start there," says the 23-year-old. She applied for the six-week internship online, aced a telephone interview, found an apartment online and is living out her dream in the Big Apple.
"The news judgment I learned in school is really coming into play," Loverock says. Her tasks have included watching tapes of a murder trial and selecting parts to air on an upcoming edition of 20/20. She's also done taste tests for a recent 20/20 episode on bottled water versus tap water.
Not all glamorous
"You get to see how things come together behind the scenes," Loverock says. "I've worked with other interns, producers and, when you're lucky, with anchors. I've been doing a lot of research. I've been calling police departments trying to get surveillance tapes for an upcoming piece."
Of course, not everything is so glamorous. "You can be asked to do anything, even pick up plane tickets or books. They're small tasks, but necessary to keep things running smoothly. The people I've worked with are really appreciative of what interns do," Loverock says.
Highlights include meeting 20/20 anchor John Stossel of "Give Me a Break" fame. "It was weird for the first few seconds. This is someone I had watched on TV since I was a young teen. But everyone is so professional, you get over that quickly."
Loverock grew up in Munster, a small community outside of Ottawa. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a double major in English and Film. While there, she hosted a campus radio show and wrote for the campus newspaper. This spring, she completed a postgraduate diploma in journalism at Sheridan College in Toronto.
For the first two years the IDPP program will not charge candidates tuition or other fees.
The first class begins this September with two more intakes in January and September next year.
The IDPP program is delivered through the Continuing Education Department at Ryerson.
Each candidate will spend between seven months and one year in the program.
She hopes to land a job as a reporter at a local TV station and to eventually work as a war correspondent. She credits her journalism program with giving her the tools to follow her dreams. "It was such a good experience. You'd get an assignment, go out with a cameraman, do your interview, edit it and get it on air. It was intense, but a great learning experience."
What does it take to impress one of America's best-watched news organizations? "I get about 400 resumes for summer internships and I'm looking for well roundedness," says production co-ordinator Maria Tessinari. "These kids don't necessary need a communications background. Volunteer and work experiences can help. A lot of it is gut -- their willingness to do anything. They have to be hungry for knowledge. People like Cara who come from other countries show me they really want it."
Persistence is key. "I have no time to follow up with every request," Tessinari says. "The ones who harass me are the ones I know are serious. It's good to have an interest in the shows we produce ... Someone who is shy and reserved probably won't do as well as kids who are outgoing. You have to be great at going around, introducing yourself and finding work."
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