Jacqueline Thorpe is Bureau Chief for Bloomberg News in Toronto, where she wrangles a team of journalists covering markets, financial services, mining, telecom and technology, real estate and the First Word service of breaking news and insights. Prior to that, she worked at Canada’s Financial Post newspaper as deputy managing editor, as well as the paper’s economics columnist and reporter. Get to know where she got her start, and how she views the future of journalism in Canada.
On January 24, 2018 Jacqueline will emcee the Radical Change Summit, a groundbreaking event that will inspire you to open the door to radical change in your own organization, and connect you with like-minded leaders in the GTA. Get your tickets today!
My first job ever was…A lifeguard at an outdoor pool, which was fantastic because I got a 20-minute break every hour. I just sat in the shade and read — Tolkien, Ayn Rand, Frank Herbert, Asimov, Tolstoy, all the greats. I did this for four summers. It was heaven.
I chose my career path because…I am intensely curious about the world. I listened to Barbara Frum on “As it Happens” every night when I was growing up and thought she had the greatest job.
My proudest accomplishment is…Juggling children and career — before there was all this fuss about juggling.
My boldest move to date was…Becoming a columnist. When I was a reporter at the Financial Post my editors started telling me to write with a voice, take a stand on things. I said make me a columnist and I will. And they did! I became the paper’s economy columnist. Jumping to Bloomberg as bureau chief also took a certain amount of nerve.
I surprise people when I tell them…I’m a science-fiction geek.
My best advice to people starting their career is…Don’t be shy. I’m a bonafide introvert, so always found it difficult doing TV, which probably hampered my career. But such is life.
My best advice from a mentor was…Kill them with kindness. I had a British bureau chief at one of my first jobs in Toronto who had the most beautiful telephone manners, especially when dealing with our highly excitable colleagues in New York. He taught me that being exceptionally genteel is an easy way to diffuse hot tempers, bring people up to your level — and subtly make them realize how silly they are.
I would tell my 20-year old self…Relax. You’ll be working for an ice-age. You don’t have to get there all in one day.
My biggest setback was…I worked in London for a time and needed to come back to Toronto for family reasons. I applied for a high-profile job with my same company and didn’t get it. It was crushing, especially since I’d been moving up quite quickly in Europe.
I overcame it by…Quitting! They offered me another job in the bureau but I turned them down. Some of it was likely pique but I was also dealing with an ill parent and very young family at the same time and needed to take a breather. Three months later, I became one of the first hires at the National Post, a move that allowed me to expand my skills in a whole new way.
Work/life balance is…Is entirely what you make it. I had children fairly young and I took jobs on the economy beat — as opposed to politics or MNA etc., which would require a bigger time commitment. That allowed me to leave around 4 p.m. every day — and learn to write quickly to deadline. But I made the choice to take a path that was less demanding in those early years. Now, my children have left the nest and I can work all hours in the day! Ugh!
To me, creating Radical Change means…Making big changes before you are compelled to. Make CV reviews blind, institute your own quota, undertake a salary review, and bring salaries in line. Just do it!
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know…Many things. Remember, I’m an introvert!
I stay inspired by…Reading really great journalism. Even in this world of news by Twitter, there’s amazing reporting and writing going on out there, much of it by Bloomberg journalists. Bloomberg is always pushing the envelop in the way we tell stories, whether it be through incredible graphics, deep dives in Businessweek or chronicling capitalism’s big trends, deals and personalities.
The future excites me because…There’s always a new story to tell. Over the past year, I got to learn about Bitcoin, Blockchain and Quantum computing. This year it might be gene editing or the mortgage-backed security market. I love learning about complicated things.
My next step is...Who knows! Bloomberg recently announced a partnership with BNN to create BNN Bloomberg which will mean more Bloomberg stories on television, radio and digital platforms. So it’s going to be a busy and exciting year!
Purchase your tickets to the Radical Change Summit January 24, 2018 and hear Jacqueline Thorpe as she emcee’s this groundbreaking event.