In December 2010, Kate McKenna, Artsci’08, Ed’09, beat out 2500 other eager contenders for the enviable year-long job of Transat Vacationer, a job that took her to 11 countries and 23 cities in 12 months and allowed her to report back on her adventures to a global audience via blogs, photos diaries and video updates.
“Since graduating from Queen’s, I’ve been fortunate enough to land jobs with some great organizations in roles that I loved and that challenged me,” says Kate, who now works in Toronto as a script writer for CBC Sports. “However, my year as the Transat Vacationer has definitely been my most memorable job so far! I still can’t believe it happened.”
Kate notes that while she developed her sharp shooting and editing skills as an online host for the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger Cats, her writing and interviewing skills were honed as a student reporter for the Queen’s Journal. Furthermore, the idea of setting a goal and striving to achieve it was directly related to her experiences as a Queen’s varsity athlete.
“Playing soccer for Queen’s was something I knew I wanted to do, but something I wasn’t sure I could do, and I felt similar apprehension when applying for this job,” she explains. “Pushing myself to just go for it and believing that I could achieve whatever it was I set out to do was critical to my success at Queen's and my success in terms of winning this job.”
Her Transat experience, Kate says, has been key in helping her to realize how much she enjoys all aspects of the storytelling and production process, and how much she values the flexibility of being able to wear multiple hats and take on multiple roles. It’s also taught her that there’s a lot to be gained from seizing exciting opportunities and by adventuring solo.
And as for the future, Kate is confident that her experience as the globe-trotting Transat Vacationer will continue to open doors for her in the world of broadcasting and writing and help her to develop a career that’s challenging, satisfying, and varied—even if, as she says, “there are no fruity drinks with mini umbrellas!”