After graduating from St Thomas in 2011, Jamie Ross spent years as a freelance writer, and what he calls a real “bumpy ride.” One day he had heard of a New Brunswicker, Gregory Chisholm, who worked on staff at MLB.com. Ross sat down with him and mentioned that he applied for a position with the company.
“The hardest part is getting your resume in front of the right person and not just thrown in the garbage,” said Ross, who spent much of his time working jobs just to pay the bills. Eventually he considered changing careers, and making a switch to the “dark side.” Ross took public relations at Humber College in Toronto.
But he got the job. Ross will be covering the Toronto Blue Jays for Major League Baseball’s media arm this upcoming season. Chisholm had mentioned Ross’s name to his boss. Besides networking, Ross credits much of his recent success to what he learned as a student at St. Thomas.
The Sussex native spent all four years at St. Thomas working for the Aquinian, working mainly as a sports writer and editor but also spending some time as news editor. His time with the paper helped him to develop the tools a journalist needs in the field.
“Journalism is inherently flawed. There’s just so much information, you’d have to be a robot not to miss anything.”
He said his time at the school paper helped him to learn from his mistakes and develop a thicker skin. Young journalists should work for a school paper so they make the mistakes now, “take a lot of shit” and learn from those lessons, he said.
Still, he found his Aquinian work was a double-edged sword. He spent so much of his time looking for leads, setting up interviews and writing that his grades slipped. Those skills are needed in the field, but networking and interpersonal skills are also key.
Ross said how excellent it was to have such accomplished journalists as professors here at St. Thomas, such as Philip Lee, Mark Tunney, and Don Dickson. All of the professors had lots of experience to share with their classes, and it’s best to learn from those who did work in the field. Ross recalled Dickson’s stories of his coverage in places like Iran and Lebanon really drawing him in.
Ross said his only regret about the school was its lack of sports journalism classes.