Joanne Vrakas: Today’s Notable Young Professional

Today’s Notable Young Professional is Breakfast Television at City TV Montreal host Joanne Vrakas, whose job is the ideal position that allows her to be herself on a daily basis. What inspired her career route? Find out in today’s profile…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I wake up very early so I can (hopefully) make everyone’s morning a little easier. I get them going before they get to work or school; I meet new people and hear new stories every day. And I laugh a lot. A lot.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I started at City Montreal last year when the station first opened here. I left my former job as a television news reporter excited and knowing that Breakfast Television would be an incredible new adventure.

I figured out in cegep that I wanted a career that would allow me to be myself. It sounded like an abstract idea at the time but I knew I liked story telling. As my career grew and with every new job I got in TV and radio, it became crystal clear this job was for me.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is the people – the team and of course the guests. Everyday is a chance to meet someone new and hear their story or their tips and how do something better. A new life story, a new life lesson. A new chance to be inspired. I love all of it. I love live television and I get to do three hours of it every day. I also love the laughs (did I mention we laugh?)

The hardest part: The hours. Waking up so early is hard, and even though you adjust, it still messes up nightlife. My friends make “early” plans at 8… which is way too late to start a night for me these days. Also, my poor husband hears the snooze go off quite a few times in the morning.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Ah, the five years question. I never really know how to answer this. So… hopefully growing as a broadcaster, finding more opportunities and, really, just being happy. Yes, happy is key.

What does success look like to you?
Success is going to bed feeling good about the day you just had.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Too many to choose from! I’d say some very memorable interviews when I was a VJ at Musiqueplus. Amy Winehouse, Jack Layton, a weekend with Lady Gaga; telling some really touching stories as a news reporter at the CBC.

But the biggest one is the little moments I realize I’m getting better at what I do, feeling more and more comfortable in my craft. All of it culminates in the thrill of hosting Breakfast Television at City Montreal.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Don’t expect anything to just happen to you, work your behind off to get it. Find what you love and focus razor sharp attention on it. But don’t stress too much either; find time for a life and laugh every chance you get.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I do quite a bit of charity work thanks to my job. I’m often asked to host or promote many charity events during the year. My father passed away from cancer when I was younger so I know first-hand how devastating the disease can be. That will eventually be one of my main focuses. I’m also really passionate about giving young girls and women a leg up, a chance at better opportunities and a better life. Women’s causes and charities are a high priority for me.

What to you is notable?
Humour. Not forced, but smart, natural and enchanting.

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