By Rachel Aiello
On the last stop of his most recent tour George Stroumboulopoulos stopped at Algonquin, where he spent a night conversing with a media-oriented audience about how the world looks outside of the college community.
The radio broadcaster, turned VJ now hosts a self-titled show, George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, on CBC and is well respected as a Canadian media personality.
Strombo explained to the crowd that his success was a fluke. He got his start in a college program, where he would take any call he got. Since then, the calls have kept on coming.
He took the audience through stories from every step along his career path, from doing shows naked, to what happens when interviews go wrong. Throughout each story, Strombo intertwined advice on how to succeed in the industry and the notes were not lost on the audience.
“I thought it was really inspiring,” said Laura Kidd, a public relations graduate who returned to campus to see the show.
Those in attendance were mostly students from the faculty of media and design, who look up to Strombo as someone who has made a name for himself within the industry.
“I finally got to see one of my idols in person, it was cool,” said Andrew McManaman, a media and communication studies student.
When the floor was opened for questions, students were able to pick Strombo’s brain. He welcomed every question and provided insight into what it takes to make it in the world of media.
“For the first 10 years no one cares what you say,” said Strombo. He explained that at the start of your career, it’s good to play within small boxes; like a college. Working within a sandbox was how he explained it, to get the practice within a smaller scope, gaining professional experience as you learn.
He also encouraged the crowd to take any job in the business. “If you want this gig you go do it…nothing is beneath you… take every shift.”
A few times throughout the night, Strombo had to throw out a parental advisory to answer some of the questions.
“I’m not what you call elegant… but I don’t need to be.”
“I didn’t expect him to be that real,” said Cody Helem, a media and communication studies student.
Near the end of the evening, Strombo shared with the audience that finding success in the media industry takes a combination of hard work, preparation and luck. He encouraged the media and design students looking to make it in what he calls a tough industry, to take any break and keep crawling through the windows of opportunity.
Following the show, Strombo stuck around to answer questions and take photos with anyone that wanted to and continued the conversation afterwards replying to tweets from those in attendance, late into the night.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen tonight but I learned a lot from him. I like that he made it his own,” said Kidd.