Andrew Baker, Research Analyst, CBC
We caught up with Andrew Baker, who now works as a Research Analyst at the CBC. Andrew Baker did his Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies at McMaster.
What is it like working as a research analyst for the CBC?
For the most part, I spend my time measuring and analyzing user engagement on CBC.ca. My specific areas of expertise are sports and mobile devices, so I’m often gathering data on visits to our digital sports properties and trying to determine which devices are emerging as the most popular points of access. It’s a really interesting job that presents some unique challenges. The industry moves at such a rapid pace, so we have to be able to react quickly to changes and new trends in the media landscape.
What are some of the most exciting things that you do in your job?
The most exciting thing for me is being able to talk to those on the content production side of the business to discuss how their digital/mobile efforts are working out. It’s an amazing thing to see ideas conceived and then track their success with the public at large.
“It’s an amazing thing to see ideas conceived and then track their success with the public at large.”
What was your experience like as an intern?
I had the opportunity to intern at Sonic Unyon while at Mohawk College, and then later at the CBC while attending McMaster. In both experiences, I learned a great deal by getting to spend time around professionals in their respective fields. I think it’s important for students of any discipline to get out there and learn from workplaces that put an emphasis on results and professionalism.
At Sonic Unyon my role was more directed towards Public Relations. I spent a lot of time sending out promotional e-mails to magazines and websites. I also helped out with the shipping/receiving department. At the CBC I was mostly working on presentations and documents based on the research of the more experienced analysts and officers.
You were Entertainment Editor at the Satellite Student Newspaper. What did you gain from this experience? What was it like?
Being the Entertainment Editor was a great experience that taught me a lot about leadership and accountability. Having the responsibility of delivering an entire section of a newspaper forced me to really keep things in order and learn how to properly manage the writers who were producing the articles. It was really rewarding to see the new issues every Monday!
“Being the Entertainment Editor was a great experience that taught me a lot about leadership and accountability. Having the responsibility of delivering an entire section of a newspaper forced me to really keep things in order…”
What was the most important experience you gained at McMaster?
My most important experience, by far, was being able to talk to professors who were willing to help students get into the workplace. In particular, Dr. Philip Savage played a big role in my interning at the CBC. Just having somebody like him to look over my resume and offer advice was a great supplement to my classroom education.
Why did you choose McMaster?
I chose McMaster because it has always had a very good reputation. So, it was an easy choice for me because I lived in Hamilton at the time and already had some friends who were attending.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received in your life?
The best advice I’ve ever received was from an old co-worker: “Take care of the small pictures and the big picture will take care of itself”. It always stuck with me and I really believe it’s true that if you pay attention to detail and give full effort on day-to-day tasks you will achieve your larger goals by virtue of that consistency.
What advice do you have for McMaster students?
I would always advise students to work hard, because it will eventually separate you from the crowd. But it’s really important to keep an open mind as well: be prepared and comfortable with the fact that your ambitions and interests will evolve tremendously over the course of your education.