By Mia Hildebrandt

Natasha Staniszewski is arguably one of NAIT’s most successful graduates.

One of Sports Centres top anchors, Staniszewskis’s journey to sitting behind the desk in Toronto is far from typical.

“I thought about being a broadcaster when I was in high school. I loved sports and I always kind of thought I would be good at it but it always seemed like a far fetched sort of crazy idea to actually embark upon,” said Staniszewski. “So I did the practical thing and went to the U of A and got a business degree.”

Staniszewski worked in business for five years before making the decision to quit her job and enrol in the Radio and Television program at NAIT.

“I figured I had nothing to lose.”

The anchor’s career started off in Lloydminster where she first started her practicum before moving to Regina to join the CTV crew covering the Brier. Staniszewski’s career had her living and working all across Canada.

“I think I moved like nine times in two years. It was a lot of moving, but good moving. I was climbing the ladder,” Staniszewski said.

She credits her instructors advice about starting your career in a small market to her success. Starting in Lloydmintser gave her the opportunity to get her hands on equipment and valuable experience being on TV right away.

Staniszewski considers herself very fortunate to not have experienced the sexism that can often occur in the sports industry.

“I don’t think I was ever not given a job because I was a woman, in fact, I think I got a lot of jobs because I’m a woman and I know what I’m talking about.”

More and more women are breaking into the broadcasting industry which made it easier for Staniszewski to see herself behind a desk when she came to NAIT.

“I wanted to be a broadcaster growing up and it’s often tough to visualize yourself doing something when there’s not someone to look up to doing it. When I got into broadcasting later on there were more women doing it so it made it made me feel a little bit braver.”

COVID-19 impacted sports on a grand scale, as leagues cancelled games and, for the most part, shut down the sporting industry, including TSN.

“For a while I was at home like everybody else was. Later, we got a few shows up and running, they sent anchors equipment so that we could broadcast from our houses,” said Staniszewski. “Once basketball and hockey came back they had some of us anchors back in the studio doing our shows.”

Staniszewski also noted that everyone in the broadcast industry has come from starkly different backgrounds and journeys.

“There are so many different paths now that I’ve seen people take. There’s not just one right way to do things.”

She encourages young aspiring broadcasters to push themselves to leave their comfort zones because it’s where you learn the most about the industry and yourself.

“It can be scary obviously. You just have to jump in with both feet and hopefully develop thick skin along the way.”