As I finish my second semester in the Corporate Communications and Public Relations program and look back on what I thought at the beginning , I can see major changes in myself and what I had expected.
After graduating from Brock University I was extremely nervous to enter a post-grad program, especially in Toronto. A few weeks into the program, I knew I had made the right decision to pursue a career in public relations. I was intimidated by some of the qualifications that individuals in our class brought to the table, but throughout the semester I was surprised at how much knowledge I gained in so little time. I entered the program wanting to go into government relations because of my background in Canadian studies, but I came to realize that this was not what I was passionate about.
After having to interview a communicator and attending the Safehaven Gala for volunteering experience, I was given the opportunity to see inside the world of non-profit. For my interviewing a communicator assignment, I chose to interview someone that was in a field that I wasn’t attracted too and it was a good choice. I got to meet and discuss topics with the event and fundraising coordinator of Safehaven and fell in love with what the company was doing. She made it clear to me that working for a non-profit organization was the best decision she had made. I was extremely grateful for the assignment because it opened my eyes to new possibilities. I wasn’t at all attracted to what non-profit had to offer when I first entered this program, but I realized after meeting with my communicator it was because I really had no idea what the organizations did.
I had a similar experience when we visited Evergreen Brick Works for our media plan assignment. I had been to Evergreen before because of volunteer work, but I never really took the time to see what exactly the organization, especially the communications team, was doing to help improve Toronto. During the visit, I was exposed to all Evergreen had to offer, from what they were doing with water conservation to kids and families.
It was trips like these that changed my mind and made me want to work in the non-profit sector. Similarly, our event “It’s Your Moment” changed my mind.
Attending event management class was what I feared the most when coming into this program, but it turned out to be the most beneficial learning experience this semester. My team put together a jewelry fashion show with beauty vendors with proceeds going to Look Good Feel Better. Putting together such an elaborate first event changed my opinion of event management. I was intimated at first, coming from a background of just essay writing, but this experience taught me a lot. I enjoy working in a team environment most of the time and this certain project was the test. With four other personalities to work with, each of us quickly took our roles in the group to get the job done. It was challenging at times, but the process was what we would be doing in our placements and our jobs so I knew to take it one step at a time.
With our event being so successful, I was pushed more into wanting to work in the non-profit sector of public relations and shaped my thinking of my future career. Our accomplishments shocked me, starting with a zero budget and being able to accomplish all that we did was truly amazing.
Similar to the event project, every class has some sort of team work involved. Being in groups for different projects allowed me to take on different roles throughout the semester. I found myself being a leader and a listener at times. This really taught me how to be an effective communicator you have to be willing and able to take on different roles in group projects.
I also had the opportunity to expand my experience with all social media platforms. I thought having my own Twitter and Facebook was enough, but I quickly found out there is so much more out there for companies to be using.
Starting this blog let me express myself in a way I never thought possible. Thanks to CCPR I have gained so much knowledge into the wonderful world of PR and as I set out into the “real” world I will never forget what I have learned.