CAJ Mentorship Program

The Canadian Association of Journalists’ mentorship program pairs CAJ members with established professionals working in radio, television, digital, and print publications across the country. The CAJ’s mentorship program has matched 493 journalists with 164 mentors over the past two years.

Student journalists, those starting their career, and professionals at any career stage looking to develop new skills are encouraged to apply.

This is a competitive program. While we strive to pair as many applicants as possible with mentors, there is far more demand than our volunteers can meet. For some tips on strengthening your application, or if you have questions about the program, please see our mentorship FAQ below.

If you are not a CAJ member and the cost of membership would prohibit you from applying to the mentorship program, please send us an email at admin@caj.ca to be considered for a membership dues bursary to cover part or all of membership fees. Please note the CAJ offers reduced membership rates for students, low-income journalists and first-time members ranging from $20-$45.

Applications for the Fall 2022 round of the program are now closed. The deadline to apply was Tuesday, November 1, 2022 at 5:00pm ET.

FAQ

Here are some of the most common questions we receive about the mentorship program.

Want to see the previous lineup of mentors?

You can check them out on our mentor bios page.

Which mentors are bilingual?

The CAJ is proud to offer mentors to journalists looking for support in both English and French. Mentors’ spoken languages are indicated at the bottom of their biographies.

I hit “submit” on the application but I’m not sure if the CAJ received it?

After you hit “submit” you won’t see a thank you page but don’t worry, your application has been received. If you’re concerned about it please email us at admin@caj.ca and we will be happy to double-check for you.

How can I maximize my odds of getting paired with a mentor?

Don’t forget the basics. Please spell the name of the person you want to work with correctly. Adhere to the 100 word limit for the questions (and make sure you answer them all, in the correct fields). Be clear about what you hope to achieve with the program and how your chosen mentors can help: don’t tell us you want to learn how to podcast from a photojournalist or anchor from an SEO specialist. You’d be surprised how many applicants forget these things and so it’s an easy way to set yourself up for success.

Beyond that, please personalize your application to the person you want to work with because ultimately they are the ones deciding. Check out our mentors’ bios, read them carefully, and tailor your answers to the type of person they are looking to mentor.

Who decides which applicant gets paired with which mentor?

The CAJ’s mentorship committee, which is composed of members of our volunteer national board, reads all applications. The committee filters out a small number of applications (see the above section on remembering the basics) and then forwards a shortlist to each mentor.

Previous applicants who were not paired have their applications flagged and mentors are encouraged to select those applicants over journalists who have already had a mentor. The mentor then picks the mentee(s) they want to mentor.

How good are my odds of being paired with a mentor?

Pretty good. But it depends on the strength of your application (more on that above.) In March 2022, for example, we had 30 mentors and 214 mentorship applications. Fifty per cent of those, or 108 mentees, were paired with a mentor.