At a crossroad between two very different career paths — law and broadcasting — Nabil Karim, a BCIT broadcast and online journalism program graduate, went down the less conventional path. It has led him to a thriving career in the competitive industry of sports broadcasting.
The sports reporter and anchor for TSN graduated from BCIT after taking a few years of classes at Simon Fraser University, thinking he would follow in his older sister’s footsteps and become a lawyer.
Karim told The Link in an interview that he had a passion for sports broadcasting that he hung on to while he pursued his bachelor’s degree at SFU by taking a sports broadcasting course on the side at BCIT to see how he would like it.
“It was one of those things where I felt if I didn’t do it now, or if I didn’t try, it was going to bug me. I thought this was a safer plan, instead of going into law and having doubts,” Karim told The Link.
Looking back, Karim said although he can thank hard work, persistence, and passion for his success so far, he could not have done it without BCIT.
“Without BCIT, I think I definitely wouldn’t be here; I know that,” said Karim, who has some advice for students in the program now or aspiring broadcasters.
Karim said that because he interned at CBC Sports in his second year, he still receives emails with opportunities from the media giant, making networking one of his biggest pointers for young journalists.
“The first step is to not get discouraged,” said Karim. “I was once told that polite persistence is the way to go and I’ve always kind of kept that motto.”
Karim said a mistake students tend to make when networking is asking for a job — something he said he never did and was appreciated for it.
“Don’t be discouraged by the fact that there might be some rejection,” advised Karim. “Every time you meet somebody, it opens up a door at some point because somebody will remember you.”
Students interested in sports sometimes find themselves lost amidst the news-heavy curriculum in BCIT’s broadcast and online jurnalism program. Karim says he felt the same way, but now wishes he had used the news experience to his advantage.
“If I had to re-do my last year, I would have done a couple more hard news stories to be honest,” said Karim. “I think my demo coming out of school was way too sports-focused and that was a problem.”
Karim waited four months after graduation before getting his first job as a news reporter in Prince George.
“If you can do news, you’re just going to be better at sports,” said Karim.
When he was not working on news stories, Karim spent many nights preparing a sports-focused demo reel, which is a compilation of various works to send to potential employers when applying for a job.
At a young age, Karim is in a position that many can only hope to get to at some point in their careers, so he is likely to stay with TSN for a while. He said for those looking to follow a career path similar to his, going to school in a program like the one he took at BCIT, is a step you cannot skip.