CTV Montreal news anchor Mutsumi Takahashi laid out her life story in a speech to an enraptured crowd of grads at Concordia University Tuesday, as she received an honorary doctorate for her contributions to the city.

Takahashi explained that she arrived at her career in a serendipitous manner, as she took a journalism course in her second year as a psychology major simply because it fit conveniently in her schedule.

She soon found herself reading news on college radio and then for a commercial radio station under a less-Japanese-sounding pseudonym.

She admits that there were failures along the way but she persevered and was hired to report TV news and found herself in the anchor's seat four years later, a place she has shone since.

“A career doesn’t have to come from a carefully laid out plan,” she said. “Often it’s just a matter of reacting calmly to unreasonable people in difficult situations and looking for an opportunity when life seems very bleak.”

Takahashi didn’t promise the grads that they'd be getting a square deal in the working world.

“Life isn’t fair and often it seems like the wrong people win, but in my experience the good guy comes out ahead in the long run,” she said.

The other six honored by the university Tuesday were Senator Roméo Dallaire, historian Joyce Zemans, professor Leonard Kleinrock, film director Deepa Mehta, hotel owner Christiane Germain and businesswomen Françoise Bertrand.