Internship spotlight: Jake De Guzman

Jake De Guzman’s path to journalism was anything but conventional. From business major to philosophy major, to seminarian to lifestyle TV and sports producer, his diverse background has equipped him with a unique perspective that he now channels into solutions-oriented journalism.

Jake De Guzman (Photo by Jennah Lay)

Photo: Jennah Lay

“There’s something about telling stories that reach millions of people that I think will change the world,“ he said.

Originally from the Philippines, De Guzman is in the second year of Master of Journalism program at the University of British Columbia.

His path to journalism led him to choose a different type of experience for the program’s 12-week internship. While many students opt for internships with news publishers, De Guzman’s unconventional choice of an internship took him to entrepreneurship@UBC.

Immersed in entrepreneurship

He believed that this was a space where he could unearth inspiring stories and learn from individuals who were driving positive change through entrepreneurship and innovation. His goal was to immerse himself in this environment, where solutions were actively being crafted and implemented.

“We see [entrepreneurs] pitching, we see their websites, we see five minutes of them in a very, written down structured pitch. We don’t see how they started. How did someone who studied microbiology turn into an entrepreneur creating something?” asked De Guzman.

“An app for a phone that when you put a telescope to it replicates lab tests that cost thousands of dollars that this one suddenly turns into like 50. How does someone do that? Why do they do that? What were the mistakes along the way?”

At entrepreneurship@UBC, De Guzman attended meetings, public classes and any events that could provide insights into the stories worth telling. He realized that the most compelling narratives often emerged from the heart of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Finding unconventional internships

De Guzman credits his first year of study at UBC Journalism for preparing him for the internship.

“I think it gave us a framework for what a good piece of journalism is. And it’s really research. It’s talking to people, finding out what the story is, but also looking at the research, what’s been written, what’s the data behind things, and putting together a story, not just from what somebody says, but from, from many different perspectives.”

His advice when it comes to unconventional internships came from advice he received from associate professor and internship coordinator Kathryn Gretsinger – “it’s your summer–what kind of experience do you want to have?”

Written by Karla Jubaily