By Alex MacIsaac
Second Year Journalism and Communications student and intern with Holland College Marketing and Communications
Four years ago, Cindy Nguyen stood in Toronto Pearson Airport just off a flight from her home in Vietnam. She couldn’t find the gate for her connecting flight to Charlottetown and was too nervous to ask anyone for directions.
“I couldn’t even speak English,” Nguyen said in a recent interview.
She has come a long way in four years. Last month, she won an internship at The Globe and Mail, where she will report on business.
Nguyen, a second-year Journalism and Communications student at Holland College, was speechless when she found out.
“When I got the call telling me I got it, I froze and couldn’t talk for like, 10 seconds. The lady on the other end actually said, ‘Hello, are you still there?’,” Nguyen said.
Starting in March, Nguyen will write stories covering businesses on P.E.I. and across the country. It will be a challenge, but nothing she can't handle, she said.
“One of the questions asked in the interview was about how I would cover a story about a restaurant in Toronto, while I'm here in P.E.I. I’m just going to wake up every morning and do my best. What comes, comes.”
Nguyen is currently an intern at The Guardian newspaper in Charlottetown, where she reports on a variety of subjects. At the Globe, Nguyen will be expected to pitch a story every day and the editor will also assign one. Both stories are due at the end of that day. She will also work on a larger project, diving deep into a story. During that project, Nguyen will be mentored by a reporter from The Globe.
“It's a highly competitive internship that students across the country applied for," journalism instructor Rick MacLean said. “The fact that she got the job is a really big deal.”
MacLean says Nguyen’s work ethic sets her apart.
“It’s the ones that show up early, stay late and do work while they are here, and that’s what Cindy did,” he said. “We’d send Cindy out for a two-voice story and she would come back with five. She has gone out every day and worked extremely hard.”
Nguyen’s mother, a journalism professor in Viet Nam, motivated her to pursue a career in the industry, Cindy said.
“My mom travelled a lot for work, and I tagged along sometimes. I got to see her doing things related to journalism and I felt really inspired.”
However, her experience in the Journalism and Communications program is ultimately what sold her on the career.
“After taking this program at Holland College, and actually getting out there and being a reporter myself and talking to a lot of people and listening to stories from so many different people, I just like it.”
In this picture: Cindy Nguyen sits at a desk in the Holland College Journalism and Communications program’s newsroom. Alex MacIsaac photo.
For more information, please contact:
Sara Underwood, Media and Communications Officer
Date: February 08, 2021