GDMA student uses her Kwantlen education at national paper

February 17, 2011 by  

Cat Yelizarov with some of her school work. Yelizarov thinks that being a student is more stressful than working at a national paper. (Photo by Kyle Benning)

Cat Yelizarov spent her past summer as few other university student did: working in the stress-filled environment of a newsroom.

The fourth-year GDMA (Graphic Design for Marketing) student at Kwantlen spent the summer completed her internship at the Globe and Mail newspaper in Toronto.

Yelizarov went into her internship with only a little journalism experience, from working with The Runner, the student-run newspaper at Kwantlen.

Yelizarov said going to Toronto by herself to work as an intern was difficult and scary.

“It was different because I came with no journalism background, so I had no experience and I was really scared, and every day I thought I was going to get fired because I thought I sucked,” Yelizarov said.

In Toronto, Yelizarov was thrown straight into designing for the Globe and Mail. She was given two days of training and then she was designing section fronts.

What made her experience even more stressful was the Globe and Mail was in the process of redesigning the newspaper while she was there. Yelizarov was in charge of designing multiple section fronts each day, as more experienced designers were helping out with the redesign or on vacation.

Yelizarov ended up designing a front for every section of the Globe and Mail during her time there, except for the Report on Business section. She said her time there was stressful, but still thinks school is more pressure packed then working.

“I think it’s way more stressful being in school than working for a national newspaper. There is way more pressure,” Yelizarov said. “It’s weird because you’re responsible for designing, and the [printing] plates cost so much, like $1,000 per front, and if you fuck it up that’s like thousands of dollars down the drain because they have to fix it.”

But at university, she said that the pressure of getting good grades and peer pressure is worse.

Working under pressure is something Yelizarov thinks she does well, and that helped her keep focused, even with daily deadlines — and when mistakes were made.

“I spelled the person’s name wrong for a Saturday front which is horrible. So horrible,” Yelizarov said.

Dealing with mistakes and the pressure of deadlines wasn’t even the most challenging thing Yelizarov faced during her time at the Globe and Mail. It was some of the people she had to deal with.

The Globe and Mail is unionized and she says that while many people she worked with were cooperative and good-natured, others were there because of the pay and were bitter.

“You have to deal with people that would duck when they see the section editor because they didn’t want to talk to them. They would avoid them. You have a deadline at four and you’re avoiding the section editor, so it was complete chaos,” Yelizarov said.

With graduation and a wedding coming up, and the need to find a job, Yelizarov looks to be just as stressed as she was last summer. But after her experience at the Globe and Mail, she feels like she can accomplish anything.

Yelizarov's final project was her redesign of the R View newspaper. She redesigned the paper last year and set up a template for them to use. (Photo by Kyle Benning)


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