When Nicole McCormich was in high school she always wanted to have a really creative career. She was very interested in the media and graphic design as well as fashion. But she still had no idea what she wanted to do after she graduated. One day a guidance counsellor told McCormick she should become a journalist and from that point on a seed was planted in her head.
“When I was in high school, I knew I wanted to go into journalism and I applied to a bunch of universities but wasn’t accepted anywhere. So I went to my backup plan, which was political science,” said McCormick. She studied that for a year at Ryerson University, and hated it. “I was miserable. I didn’t like university. I didn’t like just taking a general arts program. So I dropped out,” she said.
McCormick then went to Algonquin College, studying to be a law clerk, and graduated from that program, but then couldn’t find a job. So she said to herself, “I’m going to follow my dream.”
“I applied to Algonquin for journalism and was accepted and it went really, really well. I didn’t realize how much I was going to love it. and how much I was going to be able to make a career from it,” said McCormick.
Melba Lent Woelfle Award
During McCormick’s graduating year in the journalism program she won the Melba Lent Woelfle Award from the Media Club of Ottawa, which according to McCormick, definitely helped with her motivation.
“I had this crazy drive and I was trying to write as many articles as I could for the Algonquin Times. I was sending out random articles to people for freelance opportunities. I even reached out to my community association to do their newsletter. I was doing everything I could. I think winning really helped boost my confidence and made me realize, maybe I’m doing something right and could make this work. It gave me the confidence to keep pursuing opportunities that are the same” she said.
After graduating from the journalism program in 2017 McCormick’s first job was at a newspaper called the Winchester Press. She did a summer contract with them, covering a lot of community and sporting events. By October 2017 she was a full time reporter for the To Hull and Back Againnewspaper in Wakefield.
“In my career, I’d written every type of article I’d wanted and felt like I was ready to move on. So I started looking for writing jobs not involving writing for newspapers and ended up in an industry called Content Marketing, writing articles and blogs, said McCormick.
Her next job was with the digital marketing agency Creative TRND, on the content team, working as a contract writer. Then, in February, she was promoted to the content team lead. So she was leading that department and overseeing all their content efforts for their clients.
“I think my biggest piece of advice would be “don’t be afraid to put yourself out there,” said McCormick. “You have to take risks and not be afraid. You have to really get out of your comfort zone. That was hard for me as I was so shy. I was terrified of talking to people and being in journalism has really helped me overcome that.”