Passion and Dedication Leads to Bright Career
For a student, at almost any stage of their academic career, finding the right profession is half the battle to finding success. Stephanie Bertini, general assignment reporter for WFTV Eyewitness News in Orlando, Florida was faced with that same challenge.
She was studying History in a Bachelor’s of Arts program at York University when she came across a joint program with Seneca where she could pursue broadcasting. “I was always a people person who loved languages and culture. I thought broadcasting could be a good fit. So I applied. That was the beginning,” says Stephanie.
A couple months into the program she knew it was the best decision she could have made. As she began to learn more about the world of broadcasting, Stephanie started to focus on television. Stephanie was one of the few Seneca students to complete both the Broadcasting undergrad and the Summer Broadcast Institute. Stephanie knew she wanted to graduate as more than just a potential hire.
Barb Caines was the Broadcast Journalism coordinator and played an instrumental role as a mentor for Stephanie. “Barb is absolutely the best teacher I ever had. She believed in me but more importantly she pushed me to be better. From her, I learned the power of storytelling and good journalism,” says Stephanie.
“At Seneca I received the hands-on training and knowledge to transition into the world of television news. If you can excel here, you can excel in the industry,” she says.
Stephanie got her on-air start as a lifestyle reporter for a cable station, while still in school. Upon graduating, she was hired at CTV Northern Ontario in Sudbury where she displayed great versatility as a reporter, news anchor, and weather specialist in her early 20’s.
Her next opportunity allowed Stephanie to pursue one of her dreams of working in the U.S., a goal that was very difficult for a Canadian. She got a job with KRGV-TV, an ABC affiliate in Rio Grande Valley, Texas at the U.S. - Mexico border.
She spent more than three years anchoring and reporting in Texas. Her reporting received several honors including a National Edward R. Murrow award in 2012 for exposing how Mexican drug cartels were threatening and bribing police. A report on children affected by poverty won her a Regional Edward R. Murrow, the following year. She also received an Emmy nomination for that story. In addition, Stephanie has received several nods from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters.
Stephanie gave others a voice and shared human interest stories with an intimate look at hardships, poverty, serious crime, and immigration issues. “I believe my success came because I really lived and breathed what I was doing. My life was touched even more so than my stories touched others,” she says.
Stephanie is a first generation Canadian whose grandparents immigrated to Canada from Italy for a better life. This intimate understanding of what it takes to come from very little and succeed propelled her forward and continues to push her today.
“Succeeding is not only about you, it’s about the people who believe in you,” she says. “In this industry you have to be willing to sacrifice. There will always be trials and tribulations but it’s a lifestyle. You have to be able to do it wholeheartedly.”
At Seneca, Stephanie learned to do things the right way, with integrity, and put the time in to get where she wanted to be. “There are certain moments in your life you always remember. Seneca was one of those moments for me,” she says. “Every time I return to campus I get those same fond memories.”