Astrid Poei

Astrid Poei
Grad Year: 
Professional Writing
Communications Coordinator
Art, Culture, Recreation & Sport
Ministry of Transportation

*update*: Astrid Poei currently works as a Communications Coordinator for the Ministry of Transportation.

Since graduating from UTM, Astrid Poei has interned with The Standard, the local newspaper in St. Catharines, Ontario, and with Reuters, a global information company and newswire service. With The Standard, she reported and took photographs as needed. With Reuters, her reporting focused on stories based in Toronto. She has also worked as a Reporter/Photographer for 24 Hours - Sun Media.

As a UTM student, she reported for the Mississauga News, the Toronto Sun, and the Hamilton Spectator, while working for the campus newspaper, The Medium.

“The Medium definitely had the most influence over my choice to become a journalist. I originally attended UTM for the computer science program, but quickly found that it was not the program for me. I remember questioning, ‘what do I do now?’ I found that it was the campus paper that quickly steered me in that direction,” says Astrid, who is set to earn a post-graduate degree in Journalism from Ryerson University in December 2005.

She says that to be a successful journalist you have some basic writing skills, but excellent reporting skills are a must.

“You have to meet deadlines and you have to keep up with current events and sometimes maintain a beat, which involves keeping in touch with key sources. You have to be persistent and have an ability to think outside the box,” she says.

“This isn’t a career for students who want to be writers. This is a career for students who want to be reporters. If you want to be a writer, talk to the writer in residency at St. George. If you can't tell the difference, I'd say you'd have to do a little more research into your career.”

Astrid is a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and she is glad she ended up at UTM.

“I think the Professional Writing program here is first class and had I not entered UTM for Computer Science, I would have never considered the PWC program since I don’t think it is widely known yet,” she says.

“In terms of the mistakes I've made, and there have been many, I would not do anything differently, because I have learned from those mistakes.” Astrid’s advice to students is to find out what you want, trust yourself, and go out there and get it.

“But know this,” she says. “Just before you succeed, everything in the world will go wrong. That’s when you have to trust yourself and it is at that time that most people give up. I consider myself lucky, however, I know that luck didn't get me this far. I got this far because I was good at something.”