Graduate Spotlight: Matt Demers - Journalism

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We sat down with Journalism grad and eSport Editor for TheScore, Matt Demers, to ask him about his Ryerson exeperience. 

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What do you do?

  • Matt manages a team of freelance and in-office staff, and is responsible for editorial direction and mood of The Score.  He decides what gets published, tweeted, as well as the content that will be displayed on the app.  He is the public face and representative for the team, and thus participates in interviews and podcasts.  As a Journalism graduate in a management role, Matt knows what works, and can put himself in his staff’s shoes.

 

How did you get into this field?

  • After he graduated in June 2012, Matt worked at a software company for 6 months, but realized quickly that it wasn’t for him. After freelancing full-time (with publications such as the Toronto Star and various e-Sport websites) he started his own consulting company focused on helping eSport professionals build their social profile and following. When this opportunity at The Score popped up he quickly jumped at it. Matt’s always been interested in eSports and reporting, and this job was the perfect combinations of his passions.

 

What does a typical workday involve for you?

  • Depending on the time he enters the office, Matt is informed on what has happened that day, and is handed off the work in progress.  He then takes to social media, monitoring and sending tweets from The Score’s Twitter account.  He also makes sure to keep an eye on editorial calendars, in order to stay on top of what needs to be covered in the near future.  At times, Matt must handle and coordinate with people out of the office and even overseas, when there is a game or important news event happening. And while Matt still has to fulfill standard managerial duties like scheduling and managing hours, he makes sure to keep the office’s spirits up and the energy going, especially during long hours at the office.

 

What skills from your degree do you utilize?  

  • Because of Matt’s Journalism degree, he is able to write for both formal and informal platforms and audiences, speak and block himself on camera, film, and do his own audio.  Another important skill that Matt utilizes is that of interacting and networking within his field, and showing people why they should be talking to him.  Learning how to network has allowed him to receive guidance, advice, and job alerts.  Evidently, during his time at Ryerson, not only was he was able to learn and test things out in class, he also gained fundamental practical knowledge that doesn’t go away with new trends or technology.

 

What advice would you give to future students wondering about career options with a journalism degree?

  • Matt advises students to remember that although getting your dream job is attainable, you have to be realistic, and mindful of the obstacles you will face.  Have a realistic assessment of how lucrative a career can be, by taking into account the importance of location and timing.  He also notes that you should always be improving your skills on your own (e.g. Photoshop, HTML, etc.), and doing more than just what your degree offers.  In addition, when you get to where you want to be, try to make it easier by bringing other people up with you–you’ll feel better without being “cutthroat”, because following your principles always pays off.  And finally, while everyone wants to succeed on their first try, sometimes it takes failing to realize what you actually want to do and how you want to do it.

 

Why Ryerson?

Matt’s three reasons and explanations for choosing Ryerson are as follows:

  • Location: Toronto is Canada’s entertainment centre and the centre of Canadian media; TV and radio stations, venues, and overall city life surround Ryerson’s modern campus.
  • Forward thinking: The faculty and staff at Ryerson are in tune with the needs and are constantly reinvesting into the students.  They make sure that even if the technology is going to be outdated, the knowledge won’t be.
  • Professors still in the industry: With professors still working in their industry, you get an on the ground look of how the industry operates, which is the general purpose of attending university. You see what your future is in your professors.
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