Fourth-year Journalism student Francine Charbonneau was able to do something this spring that most NHL players and Canadian hockey fans can only ever dream about – hoist the Stanley Cup over her head.
Charbonneau did that and much more when she lived her childhood dream by spending a two-week internship working at the Hockey Hall of Fame through the Carleton School of Journalism and Communication’s Apprenticeship Program.
“When I was 12, I decided I was going to be a sports journalist. Hockey has been my passion for as long as I can remember,”” She says. “This internship reaffirmed for me that this is the type of work I want to do.”
Her project, which involved creating an indepth piece on the history of the hockey stamp, proved to be an eye-opener about the impact of our national sport on other cultures around the world.
“So many countries that have never seen a sheet of ice have issued hundreds of hockey stamps for monetary purposes,” she says. “There are some great, quirky stories behind a lot of the stamps out there.”
Charbonneau was impressed by the total freedom she was given to complete the research work by her March deadline. Did being a Carleton journalism student mean expectations for a higher standard of work from her?
“I think it made them more confident that I could do the work and do it well,” says Charbonneau.
Other highlights of her internship included working with the Hall of Fame’s Ron Ellis and meeting scores of former and current Toronto Maple Leaf players in their alumni suite during an NHL hockey game. But, this still paled compared to her experience with the Cup.
“Although developing the project was really rewarding, there’s nothing that can beat the moment my boss let me raise the Stanley Cup over my head. I was so nervous, I think I almost dropped it,“ says Charbonneau.
Current academic term results are not yet available. However, last year more students participated in the apprenticeship program than ever before; of approximately 240 who were eligible, more than 165 took placements—a testament to the program’s popularity and success, some 60 media outlets participated.