Living

Chatelaine's editors share how education changed their lives

As proven by our editors' stories, education doesn't always take you where you think it might, but our team is certainly grateful it led them on a path to Chatelaine magazine!

Today Rogers is hosting a special initiative called Rogers Youth Education Day where Canadian youth from the programs we support through Rogers Youth Fund are invited to participate in a unique opportunity to explore the media industry in radio, television and publishing, while sharing information about Rogers Youth Fund.

We want you to celebrate Rogers Youth Education Day with us and show youth that education is important. Tweet with the #BrighterFuture hashtag on Twitter or share this photo on our Facebook page to help. For every tweet with the hashtag, and Facebook share, we’ll donate $1 toward the purchase of a mobile tech unit (to a maximum of $250,000) to be given to partners for youth education purposes.

To find out more, please visit: http://roge.rs/ryf.  Join the conversation, tell us your education story and help give our youth a #BrighterFuture.”

And keep on reading to find out education shaped the future career paths of these Chatelaine editors!


Claire Tansey, Food Director

I always loved school. I did my undergrad at Mount Allison. My degree was in drama but I always think that it was really in “Living Away from Home and Growing Up”. They were some of the best years of my life, so full of learning, extra-curricular fun (I even played an improv team for four years!) and life lessons like How To Shop For Groceries (when you have just $20/week). So much of my recipe development now is grounded in the lessons in frugality that I learned during those years.

After a three-year break, during which I apprenticed as a chef (but never took formal cooking school), I went to University of Guelph to take my Masters in Literature and Theatre. Once again, it wasn’t so much the content of the courses and papers that I really took in, it was the greater lessons about how to write, how to research and how to navigate through the red tape of academia. The coursework was tough but I’m so pleased to have that degree.

Throughout both degrees, I worked part-time in restaurants. It was work I always enjoyed (so concrete when my courses were so abstract). But I knew restaurant work wasn’t for me in the long term. So I tried to mix cooking experience with writing and research. After a few rocky years of patchwork jobs, I landed as a Food Editor. And it’s my dream come true, and such a perfect marriage of everything I’ve studied and worked on.

Emma Reddington, Home Editor

Having a December birthday I started my first degree a Bachelor of Arts in English – Cultural Studies at McGill University when I was 17 years old. A quick four years later having immersed myself in feminism, Foucault and film studies I was much better educated but not necessarily employable.

I found myself working in restaurants and found the behind-the-scenes work in the kitchen much more my style than out on the floor. Seeing a future as a chef I enrolled myself at a technical college for a two-year diploma in Culinary Arts.  Internships and stages at high-end restaurants across Canada followed but I found myself more interested in the design of the restaurants than the actual cooking.

This kick-started my third and final installment of schooling, a degree in Interior Design from Ryerson University. Finally I was working with my hands and using my brain simultaneously. The degree was instrumental in me getting a job as an exhibition designer at The Art Gallery of Ontario for almost seven years.

However, it was the combination of all my degrees and work experience that landed me where I am today. As the Home Editor of Chatelaine I use my writing skills, design talent and even my cooking knowledge on a daily basis. In fact, it was probably the breadth and depth of my knowledge that helped me get where I am today.

Rose Pereira, Senior Associate Art Director

I admit I’ve never liked attending school, but I love to be educated. Throughout high school, university and well into my adult life I have never stopped taking courses to further my career, update my skills or just fulfill my curiosity for new areas of interest.

Web coding, visual merchandising, language and cooking – you name it – I’ve taken it. But the biggest impact education has had on my career is my Image Arts degree from Ryerson. I’ve been a magazine lover and collector since my teenage days, when I would pore over incredible images in fashion and lifestyle glossies. They inspired me to start shooting as a teenager, and when it came time to choose a university program it was a no-brainer.

It was four intense years of learning the practical and theoretical aspects of photography. I read about the masters, learned about the science of colour, shot in large format 4×5 and chemically developed my own film. Digital photography wasn’t a reality yet in the mid ’90s! I didn’t realize it at the time, but what I really wanted to do was work creatively in magazines. You could say I took the long route to being an art director today in magazine publishing. Now those courses inform everything I do on a daily basis.

Despite the fact that technology has pushed image making into a whole new digital sphere, I use the fundamentals that I learned during my four years at Ryerson every day, whether I’m photo editing or art directing a shoot.

Eric Putz, In-house Photographer

From the very first time I picked up a camera I was hooked. I took a class in high school that helped me learn the basics about shooting black & white 35mm film and making prints in the small darkroom my school had. After high school, when I was making decisions about my future career, my father urged me to enter the booming IT sector (circa 1990s/early 2000s) to “work with computers”. Instead, I took my passion for old-school, film-based photography and turned it digital, enrolling in Humber College’s Creative Photography program where I learned about lighting, composition and photoshop techniques that I now put to use every day as a photographer for Chatelaine magazine. I work with digital cameras/equipment and computers (like my father wanted, but with a twist!) to capture and manipulate all kinds of images. I get to do what I love – mixing technology and technical skills with an artistic edge.

Samantha Grice, Digital Managing Editor

I was a bit aimless with my career and education goals before I decided (sort of on a whim) to go to Ryerson for a four-year journalism degree. Doing so felt like a practical way to indulge my love of language and also be employable when I came out the other end. It certainly served both those purposes. One of the best parts about the program was being exposed to the writing of great journalists and publications that I am loyal to to this day. I still remember reading Gay Talese’s 1966 profile in Esquire “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold” (check it out!) and being told to “always” read The New Yorker if you want to become a better writer. I also made a lot of contacts within the relatively small world of Canadian journalism that have helped get me jobs at places such as the National Post and now Chatelaine.

But I’ve always believed the main purpose of education lay not completely in the knowledge learned but in the learning itself. The way grasping new ideas teaches one how to think rather than what to think. While my education didn’t always live up to that weighty ideal, it had everything to do with where I am now and I’m grateful for that.

Madeline Cravit, Assistant Beauty & Health Editor

I was always a very good student and it seemed right that I go to a great school, which I did, for my first year of post secondary education: McGill University. But it only took a couple of months to figure out that it wasn’t a good fit. For my second year I transferred to another great school, Concordia University (still in Montreal, I would never want to leave that wonderful city!), taking on a joint major in creative writing and English literature. Although I always knew I was an arts-focused person, I’d never even considered the program, or really any other university for that matter, because of what I thought McGill represented. The experience taught me that I am happiest, most successful and at my best pursuing something creative – and now I would never compromise that for the sake of appearances.

Lucky for me, I get to work on something I love everyday: writing.