Humber College Journalism student Irelyne Lavery

Irelyne Lavery was always interested in writing and politics, but she never imagined that in her third year of Humber College’s Bachelor of Journalism program, she would board her first-ever flight for a trip to New Hampshire and cover the American Democratic primary.

She didn’t expect her work to be published in the Globe and Mail, either.

It all happened by chance, and Lavery recognized the opportunity to produce high-quality journalism and get published.

She and three other students from the program followed Democratic U.S. presidential candidates including Bernie Sanders who was projected to win.  They even worked at Sanders HQ once the vote-counting began.

The Humber journalists were working with professor and Globe and Mail editor Angela Murphy who called to say that their correspondent was in the room waiting for results.

“We had gotten a message saying ‘our correspondent is staying at Bernie Sanders,” she said “So if you want to send the students over to Pete [Buttigieg], go for it.”

They headed to the candidate’s headquarters and waited for the results to come in. At one time late in the vote-counting he and Sanders were neck-and-neck.

Sanders won, but Buttigigieg’s second-place finish results meant the Humber students had work to do.

Irelyne Lavery reported from Sanders and Buttigieg HQs at the New Hampshire Democratic Primaries

They gathered quotes from his speech and from supporters. Then they were told that deadline was in 10 minutes.

“We filed and got our name published at the end of the [Globe and Mail] article.”

Lavery says that Humber’s Journalism program prepared her to write an accurate and engaging story in ten minutes.

“It was the best kind of stress you could ask for. I would do it again in a heartbeat,” she said.

Finding the story

Politics can be heavy and all-consuming, so Lavery looked for ways to diversify her coverage in New Hampshire.

“There was a person who walked through one of the schools after an Elizabeth Warren event and he had a boot on his head. He said his name is Vermin Supreme and he’s running for president. “

She knew she had to write a story about him to break up the political coverage. It was published on Skedline, a Humber journalism online publication.

She says she’s thrilled with her choice to attend Humber College, which wasn’t on her radar when she graduated high school. She presumed she would go to a university, but once she was accepted to several, she was still unsure.

She toured the Humber College Lakeshore Campus and spoke to her future professors. They connected.

“As soon as I saw the newsroom, I thought ‘this is going to be my home for the next four years.'"

Lavery says she loves the program, especially the small class size and connection with professors who have made their mark in the business.

She will graduate in the spring of 2021, already poised to amplify every opportunity in her career as a journalist.