Alumni Memory: Devon Platana, MJ ’20

Everything Happens for a Reason

One of my favourite memories from j-school was learning not afraid of hearing “no.” Let’s face it: no one likes being told “no,” whether it’s for a job interview or asking out your crush. Entering the Master of Journalism program, I was always afraid of rejection whenever I had a story idea, whether that was being rejected by a professor or a potential interviewee.

This picture was taken of me during my first MJ assignment, where we were told to go to our assigned beat areas and find a story to write about. I was basing mine on Taste of Wellington West, an annual food festival in the Wellington Village and Hintonburg neighbourhood. I was filled with anxiety and incredibly nervous to ask anyone for an interview because I was afraid that no one would want to talk to some journalism student. At some point, someone photographing the festival snapped that picture that I was included in and now it reminds me of how far I’ve come. Throughout my degree and beyond, I’ve been able to interview so many people, from authors to professional athletes to people in sports management – all without being afraid of rejection.

The truth is that I still do get nervous when approaching people for interviews, whether in-person over technology, but I’ve learned that hearing “no” isn’t the end of the world. As cliché as it sounds, it just means that it’s not meant to be and everything happens for a reason.

So if there are any other journalism students reading this, don’t be afraid of rejection. If the worst thing that can happen is someone rejecting an interview, don’t dwell on it. Move on and find someone who will eventually say yes or maybe that rejection will even cause you to think of a new story idea. You’ve got this.  – Devon Platana (MJ ’20)

Alumni Memories are part of Carleton Journalism’s 75th Anniversary.

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Friday, January 8, 2021 in
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