Friday, September 05, 2014

Welcome to our new Loyalist PR crew!

The new group of Loyalist PR students got off to a great start this week! Welcome to all the great individuals who have signed up for Post-Grad Public Relations -- you're well on their way to forming an outstanding team.
Thanks to everyone for bringing your energy and enthusiasm each day of Orientation Week, and for making a real effort to get to know your colleagues this week. You did the crazy things we asked without complaint, and embraced a new and unknown industry which we hope will inspire you and launch you in the direction of yours dreams.
Now in its tenth year, the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program is thrilled to have a great faculty team assembled for 2014/15 to deliver a year filled with real-world programming and memorable student experiences.
Hold on, everyone -- it's going to be a fun ride!

Friday, June 06, 2014

Where will YOUR career take you?

Loyalist PR grad Bryna Jones in Burundi this month.
Those who enjoy travel will no doubt find a career in public relations rewarding -- particularly those who are looking to make a difference around the world.

This month, Loyalist PR grad Bryna Jones (2008/09) is travelling through Africa on a mission with World Vision International as Communications Coordinator.

Throughout her career in communications and public relations with World Vision and Save the Children, Bryna has travelled around the globe, making a significant impact on the lives of those in need.
Loyalist PR grad Bryna Jones on a recent trip to Uganda.
A career in public relations can take you just about anywhere, as many of our graduates can attest.

Consider enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program for the fall of 2014 -- you just never know where it will take you!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Spaces still available for fall 2014!


If you're interested in pursuing a career as a communications professional, we're happy to say that the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program is still accepting applications for September 2014!

If you'd like to speak with the program coordinator, please email Professor Kerry Ramsay at kramsay@loyalistc.on.ca for more information.

Or apply online at www.ocas.ca.

Remember, this is a post-graduate program, so all applicants must complete a university degree or college diploma before entering the program.

We hope to see you in September 2014!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Turning internship into employment!

Loyalist PR student Ashley Warner at The Beer Store head office in Mississauga
As a part of the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program here at Loyalist College, our students are currently out on their four-week (unpaid) internships.

During this time, students experience what it's like to work in a PR workplace, whether corporate, government, social profit or otherwise.

While on internship, they're able to apply skills in the areas of writing, social media, graphic design, event management, strategic planning and more.

We're proud of our students, and know internship is just one more important milestone along their career paths.

In many cases, students turn their internships into full-time employment, including Ashley Warner (Loyalist PR 2013/14) pictured above.

We're happy to report that Ashley is now the new Public Affairs Coordinator for The Beer Store's head office in Mississauga. Way to go, Ashley!

Monday, March 24, 2014

End-of-year 2014 PRISM Awards & Luncheon

Congratulations to our Post-Graduate Public Relations students who are now on their way to internship!

Last week, we held an end-of-the-year luncheon awards ceremony to recognize excellence in the program, and to enjoy everyone's company one last time.

Here are the results of the 2014 PRISM Awards:

2014 PRISM Leadership Award

Winner - Natalie Walt
Honourable Mention - Katrina White

2014 PRISM Professionalism Award

Winner - Katrina White
Honourable Mention - Ashliegh Gehl

2014 PRISM Spirit Award

Winner - Ashley Warner
Honourable Mention - Jessica Turner

2014 PRISM New Media Award

Winner - Laura Voskamp
Honourable Mention - Jacob Cote

2014 PRISM Innovation Award

Winner - Brian Chapman
Honourable Mention - Jessica Turner

2014 PRISM Service Award

Winner - Jessica Chartrand
Honourable Mention - Natalie Walt

2014 PRISM Teamwork Award

Winner - Amie Bronson
Honourable Mention - Kaytee Wood

2014 PRISM Mentorship Award

Dug Stevenson, Bay of Quinte Tourism

2014 Campaign of the Year Award

Winning Team - Tiffany Lobb, Ashiegh Gehl, Jessica Turner, Natalie Walt
Honourable Mention - Laura Voskamp, Jacob Cote, Katrina White

2014 Kay Staib Memorial Scholarship Winner - Katrina White

Finally, here's our group selfie (inspired by Ellen at this year's Oscars) - enjoy your internships, everyone!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Fundraising weekend for PR students

It was a whirlwind weekend, with Loyalist PR teams raising approximately $1,000 for local charities.

The first group held a mall raffle in support of the Quinte Humane Society, raising $454 (see team pictured below)

The second team hosted a movie showing of "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" at the Centre Theatre in Trenton, raising $550 in support of Big Brothers & Big Sisters.

Way to go, everyone! Great team work and great results. You should all be very proud of your efforts.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Loyalist PR team donates $600 to Girls Inc.

Congratulations to our Loyalist PR team of students that raised $600 earlier this week for Girls Inc., a community service agency dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold.

In this photo, team member Ashley Warner (right) presents the fundraiser's proceeds to Lindsey Belch, Executive Director of Girl's Inc.

The team's "A Bazaar Affair" fundraiser was a huge hit among campus staff and students.

Way to go, ladies!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Loyalist PR grad holds leadership workshop

Thanks to Loyalist PR grad Jeff Lauritsen (2008/09) of Ripple Communications for stopping by last week to talk to this year's crew of students about leadership.

A former member of the Canadian Armed Forces, Jeff brought home some key leadership points, as well as fun, hands-on activities (we all enjoyed the laugh!).

Thanks for stopping by, Jeff! It's always a pleasure to see you. We wish you the best of luck with your new business!

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Loyalist PR students host Enactus event!

It's been a busy few days here in Loyalist PR, with a full roster of events being hosted by members of the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program.

Hats off (on?) to the team of Loyalist PR students headed up by Jessica Chartrand, who hosted an amazing networking event for Enactus on Tuesday evening of this week.

Great job, everyone!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Grad Profile: Alexander Smith (2012/13)

Today's Loyalist PR graduate profile features Alexander Smith (2012/13) who is now employed as an Account Coordinator at Environics Communications in Toronto, Ontario.

Environics Communications is a full-service marketing communications and public affairs firm with offices in Canada and the United States.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Alexander completed a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Musicology and Political Science at Queen's University.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to take Loyalist PR?

Alexander: I have always been interested in the news, media and the tactics of communications. Public relations became a natural fit for me.

I chose to study at Loyalist after researching a few college programs. I found Loyalist PR to offer a broader focus than other schools, and the program seemed to be held in regard by its graduates.

Loyalist PR: Describe some of your current duties as an Account Coordinator at Environics.

Alexander: No two days are alike, and that keeps my work very exciting. As an Account Coordinator, I am responsible for media monitoring, event management, crafting media lists, research and many unexpected tasks on a frequent basis. I have gotten to work on several great client accounts, from major health care and pharmaceutical companies to household names like Nestle Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart and the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

Loyalist PR: How did the Post-Grad PR program help prepare you for your current role?

Alexander: I always have several different projects on the go, each with a different team. Working several projects at once in Loyalist PR gave me a taste of the great multitasking challenge I now deal with on a daily basis.

The one-month internship [Alexander interned with the Canadian Film Institute in Ottawa] and other employment opportunities that I secured through Loyalist PR and Loyalist College were invaluable as well.

Loyalist PR: Can you share any highlights from your year in Loyalist PR?

Alexander: Group projects were always an exciting and great learning experience. I got to collaborate with my talented and fun classmates to put together some great reports and terrific events. There was a lot of camaraderie in our class, and I take away several treasured friendships from my time in the program.

Loyalist PR: Any words of wisdom for this year's PR students?

Alexander: Make yourself employable, which means your most important task is to network. Loyalist PR alumni, in particular, are a great networking resource, and I owe them for an internship, a job interview and other friendly offers of help. Many people are only too happy to respond to
requests for help and advice.

Loyalist PR: Thanks for your insights, Alexander -- we loved having you in the program. Good luck in your career!

Upcoming Loyalist PR event!


Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Grad Profile: Hannah Brown (2012/13)

Today's Loyalist PR graduate profile features Hannah Brown (2012/13) who is now employed as the Fund Development Coordinator at the Alzheimer's Society in Belleville, Ontario.

Prior to enrolling the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Hannah completed a bachelor of design (BDes) from Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in Halifax.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in Loyalist PR?

Hannah: I worked various retail positions for a few years after I graduated university, and finally decided that I would need further education if I wanted to get a position in communications. The PR program at Loyalist seemed like it would be a good fit, and it was only a year-long commitment which I liked.

Loyalist PR: How did Loyalist PR help prepare you for your current role?

Hannah: The fundraising and event planning courses were the most relevant to the work I do now (which makes me wish I had paid closer attention in those classes)! The experience of having actually planned an event was definitely something my employer considered when I was hired. My internship [at Venture Communications in Toronto] was an incredibly valuable experience I never would have gotten otherwise.

Loyalist PR: What does your role at the Alzheimer Society entail?

Hannah: I am in charge of both Special Events and Development. At the moment, my day-to-day is a lot of event planning, since we have a big one coming up. I call local businesses for sponsorship and prize donations. I also write press releases and work with local news outlets to get coverage of our event.

On the development side of things, I have implemented a monthly giving program, and I am currently working on creating a legacy giving program.

Every day is different, and I use the whole range of skills I gained from the PR Program at Loyalist.

Loyalist PR: Any highlights you'd like to share from your year in Loyalist PR?

Hannah: Finally getting an internship! I was one of the last people in the class to confirm mine, and I was starting to worry. Another highlight was our guest speaker, Rhonda Cunningham, from the Northumberland Hills Hospital Foundation. That was the first time I thought I might like to work for a non-profit. 

Loyalist PR: Any words of advice for this year's students?

Hannah: I know everyone tells you how important writing is, but I'm going to say it again. Learning to write well is the most important skill you will learn this year, so practice as much as you can!

Loyalist PR: Thanks, Hannah - it was a pleasure catching up with you! Good luck with your career.

News Canada visits Loyalist College

Many thanks to Jenny Cruxton, Manager, Business Development and Diane Williams, Executive VP of Digital Services/Print & Web Media Relations who came to speak with Loyalist PR students yesterday afternoon from News Canada in Toronto.

The News Canada presentation covered Media Ratings Points (MRPs) in Canada, as well changes taking place in the PR landscape and their impact on technology.

Thanks again, Jenny and Diane - we loved having you in our classroom, and learned a lot!

Thanks to Toronto guest speakers!


A huge shout-out to Chris Boutet, Senior Manager, Brand Insights and Katie McKinnon, Manager, Client Success from Infomart of Toronto who stopped by our classroom yesterday morning.

The dynamic duo provided great background on media monitoring for both traditional and social media outlets, as well as a wide range of valuable insights on marketing and crisis communications.

Thanks so much for shopping by, Chris and Katie! We thoroughly enjoyed your visit.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Leona Hobbs talks content marketing

We enjoyed a great learning session yesterday with Leona Hobbs of Toronto who stopped by our Loyalist PR classroom to discuss content marketing in today's digital marketplace.

Leona covered a wide range of fascinating topics (from social object theory to creating and distributing great web content).

Our particular favourite case studies involved Oreos and Paint Chips for Men (from CIL) -- both fascinating topics for discussion!

Great presentation, Leona - we learned a lot and got lots of inspiration for our next client projects!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Loyalist PR hosts college Career Fair!


Many thanks to all the Loyalist PR students who did a great job of hosting today's Career Fair at Loyalist College!


Despite the freezing temperatures and hard work, you all showed up and did your best with a smile on your face.


We're proud of you all!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Loyalist PR student wins athletic award!

Congratulations to our very own Justin DeHaan (front row, far left) on receiving one of Loyalist College's coveted athletic scholarships this year!

We're proud of you, Justin -- keep up the great work!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Linking gum and qualitative analysis...

It may LOOK like Loyalist PR students are just sorting gum (which in fact they are), but actually they're also engaged in qualitative analysis... who knew?!

Thanks to Ellen Cooper, owner of Quadra Research who stopped by our classroom this week to teach us how to hold effective focus groups, and how qualitative research can enhance our public relations activities.

We enjoyed the experience, Ellen - thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Spoken word poet visits Loyalist PR!

A big shout-out to Greg Frankson (aka Ritallin), the spoken word poet who infused our classroom with energy and enthusiasm yesterday as he has done for the past six years.

We enjoyed a great writing session with Greg, following a rousing performance featuring several of the artist's original works.

Thanks, Greg, for opening our eyes to an entirely new genre of writing and for inspiring us to think outside the box (what box?) - you rock!

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Client projects are underway!

Dug Stevenson interviews Loyalist PR student Laura Voskamp in a class exercise entitled "Tips from the Red Carpet".
Welcome back to all our Loyalist PR students this week! Our second semester got off to a snowy start, but ended in spectacular fashion as we culminated a week of client presentations today with Dug Stevenson and Anne Moore of Bay of Quinte Tourism.

Special thanks to Dug who also delivered a memorable teaching session, including "Tips from the Red Carpet". As a seasoned interviewer, Dug delivered great advice to Post-Grad PR students on how to PMAN (stands for Prepare, Means, Appearance and Networking)!

Thanks to all our clients for stopping by this week -- we look forward to an action-packed semester ahead!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Grad Profile: Heather Desarmia (2012/13)


Today's Loyalist PR graduate profile features Heather Desarmia (2012/13) who is now employed as the Public Relations & Social Media Specialist for North Peace Savings and Credit Union in Fort St. John, British Columbia.
 
Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Heather completed a BA Arts degree with a specialization Communications from the University of Ottawa.
 
Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College?
 
Heather: I realized that in order to get my foot in the door of the public relations world, I needed hands-on experience. Taking the public relations program at Loyalist helped me develop my skills and challenge myself in putting my classroom skills to work in real life.

Loyalist PR: How did the Post-Grad PR Program help prepare you for your current role?

Heather: Everything you learn in Loyalist PR you will use in your day-to-day job, from developing communications plans and media monitoring to writing press releases. These are all crucial PR skills that you will learn and apply immediately. Working in team settings prepared me for group work with various dynamics, teaching us time management and people management skills.


Loyalist PR: Any highlights you'd like to share with us from your year in Loyalist PR?

Heather: I absolutely loved the day trip to Toronto with the class. Getting to visit a PR firm and speaking with communications professionals was very valuable. The cherry on top of the day was the opportunity to see George Strombo live and in person!

Loyalist PR: Any words of advice for this year's Loyalist PR students?

Heather: Fully participate in all class assignments. I cannot stress enough how much of the hands-on content we practiced I actually use in day-to-day work life.

Also, start looking for internships early on. Balancing internship interviews and group work can be overwhelming [during second semester]. Looking early will also ensure you beat the rush and land a great spot! [Note: Heather interned with the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club.]

Loyalist PR: Thanks so much for your insights, Heather -- and the best of luck in BC!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Loyalist PR takes on Toronto!

Phew, what a day we had last Thursday on our annual trip to Toronto. The day began super early (yawn!), and didn't stop all day long.
Our first stop was to Edelman Toronto, one of the world's leading independent PR firms. We were hosted by Shannon, Jeff and Rosie, who made us feel right at home (thanks, guys!).
After a presentation featuring various case studies and an overview of the firm, the trio whisked us off for a tour of the firm (very impressive - we want our own terrace with wifi too!).

Next, it was off to visit Loyalist PR graduate Shonna Spicer, now with the Jays Care Foundation at the Rogers Centre. [On our way past the new Ripley's Aquarium, we waved to Loyalist PR grad Maggie Doucette, the aquarium's Media Relations Coordinator, who was conducting a media interview there -- Loyalist PR grads are EVERYWHERE!]
Shonna and her boss, Rob Drynan were on hand to show us around and made a great presentation about the fundraising arm of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team. Great presentation, guys!
We even got to visit the clubhouse - very cozy!
Finally, we made our way to CBC Studios for our annual pilgrimage to see the George Strombo show.
                           
Good times were had by all!
                           
Thanks for a great day, everyone!

All photos by Gail Paquette, Photojournalist

Grad profile: Mark Goguen (2012/13)

Today's Loyalist PR graduate profile features Mark Goguen (2012/13) who is now employed as a Communications Assistant at Quinte Conservation.
 
Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Mark completed a diploma in Radio Broadcasting from Loyalist College.

Loyalist PR: Can you tell us about some of your duties as Communications Assistant at Quinte Conservation?

Mark: My tasks include event planning, fundraising, updating social media feeds, designing posters, pamphlets and other promotional materials, writing media releases and much more!

Loyalist PR: Why did you decide to enrol in the Post-Grad PR Program here at Loyalist?

Mark: I decided to enroll in Loyalist PR because I wanted to explore different career options and add more skills to my resume. Loyalist PR seemed like the perfect fit for me, because I knew I would be getting hands-on training that would help me find a job.

Loyalist PR: How did the Post-Grad PR Program help prepare you for current job?

Mark: It prepared me in so many ways! When it came time to write a media release, I knew exactly what to do, and what not to do. The design class helped me more than I ever thought it would, since in this position I'm required to do a lot of design work, like brochures and posters.

Loyalist PR: Can you share with us some of your highlights from the Loyalist PR program?

Mark: My favourite highlights were our class trip to Toronto, the Halloween potluck and the Christmas party -- and pretty much anything involving food! I also really enjoyed meeting new people and making lifelong friends.

Loyalist PR: Any words of advice for this year's Loyalist PR crew?

Mark: During your internship if you work hard and show initiative and always say "yes" (when appropriate of course!), your employer will take notice. Don't get too worried if you don't find an internship right away in January. It just means the right one is around the corner. I only secured my internship two weeks before the end of the semester, and I'm still here now!

Loyalist PR: Thanks, Mark - and all the best with Quinte Conservation!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Grad Profile: Jenn Monje (2012/13)

Today's Loyalist PR graduate profile features Jenn Monje (2012/13) who is now employed as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Crawford County in Pittsburg, Kansas.

AmeriCorps VISTA is a national service program designed to fight poverty in the United States.

In her role with BBBS, Jenn recruits volunteers, builds community partners, fundraises and plans events. She also oversees all of the organization's social media activities.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Jenn completed her diploma in Social Service Work (SSW) at Loyalist.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enrol in the Post-Grad PR Program at Loyalist?

Jenn: During my SSW program, I developed an interest in fundraising and planning events. One of my teachers in the program suggested I take the PR post-grad certificate.

Loyalist PR: How did Loyalist PR help prepare you for your current position?

Jenn: I honestly think if I had not taken this course, then I would be completely lost. I believe I have used a skill from every course in the program. I have had to use my writing and design skills to develop a monthly newsletter. I have been asked to do several small presentations to promote BBBS throughout the community. I have also had to multitask (to the extreme!) in this position, and I know that without the experience of having to multitask in the program, I would be struggling right now.

Not only  that, but I believe I learned the importance of professionalism in the PR Program. I am speaking with very important community members on a daily basis, people who are huge donors of ours. Being professional is very important -- you never know who you are going to meet!

Loyalist PR: Any favourite memories of your year in Loyalist PR?

Jenn: My favourite memories of the year include planning and attending the PRISM Awards. I had a lot of fun making the decorations and working with the "Alice in Wonderland" theme. Our year had a group of very strong and interesting individuals, and I know it would not have been as memorable without them.

Loyalist PR: Any words of wisdom for this year's Loyalist PR crew?

Jenn: Pay attention in class. You never know where you will end up in the work field. Those skills that you think don't matter now, you might have to use on a daily basis in the near future.

Loyalist PR: Thanks so much for your insights, Jenn -- and all the best in your career!

Monday, October 07, 2013

Grad Profile: Danielle Bruni (2012/13)

Today's Loyalist PR graduate profile features Danielle Bruni (2012/13) who is now employed as the Community Initiatives Coordinator with the Canadian Diabetes Association of Sault Ste. Marie & District.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Danielle completed a diploma in Hospitality Management in Sault Ste. Marie.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in the Post-Grad PR Program at Loyalist?

Danielle: I chose to take the public relations program at Loyalist because I wanted to build my own brand outside of my hometown without the assistance of my family. However, if I did need to use them as a resource, they were still close by. My aunt is a teacher at the college, and I was also living with her over the course of the year while I was away at school.

I wanted change, away and out of my comfort zone, and Loyalist PR helped me realize exactly where I wanted to be -- out in front, communicating with the public.

Loyalist PR: How did the Post-Grad PR Program help prepare you for your current position?

Danielle: Classes involving all social media platforms were definitely an asset. With our second annual gala approaching, I am able to monitor our Facebook and Twitter pages effectively. Both writing classes also helped me a lot. At first, I wasn't sure I was learning anything new through my writing classes, but it wasn't until after the program was finished that I realized it was the small details that mattered the most.

I learned this especially during my internship at Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls where I was asked to review and update the company's original media kit. The last time it was used was back in 2006 when they first opened. Having to write a blog post every week improved my writing abilities, even though I didn't think so at first!

Loyalist PR: Are there any highlights of your year in Loyalist PR that stand out in your mind?

Danielle: Some of my favourite memories from the Loyalist PR program were the Toronto trip, the multicultural potluck and the United Way Truckload Sale. During the Toronto trip I got to see the other side of my classmates that I didn't see every day in the classroom. With that, some of my friendships definitely grew.

I also got to see some of Toronto's top PR agencies. Throughout the tours, they told us some of the qualities they were looking for in summer interns. They also told us not to be afraid to speak up and ask a question.

For the multicultural potluck, I got a chance to taste something from everyone's family cookbook. It was awesome!

The truckload sale was interesting -- I'm sure the classroom still smells of Bounce sheets! It was a hectic, busy day for a great cause which made it all worthwhile.

Loyalist PR: Any final words of wisdom for this year's Loyalist PR crew?

Danielle: "Don't say the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon." ~ Anonymous

Friday, October 04, 2013

Grad Profile: Justin Reis (2012/13)

Today's Loyalist PR graduate profile features Justin Reis (2012/13) who is now employed as a Research Associate in the Loyalty division of Ipsos Reid in Toronto.
 
Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Justin completed a Bachelor's degree in Public Affairs & Policy Management from Carleton University.
 
Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in the Post-Grad PR Program at Loyalist?
 
Justin: My university program had a PR class in my final year. I loved it, and decided to pursue it at the post-graduate level.

Loyalist PR: How did Loyalist PR help prepare you for your current position?

Justin: Well, first off, it got me the job. I interned in the Public Affairs division of Ipsos Reid and when there was an opening, I got a referral from my manager which got me the position.

With my PR background, I was also able to draw on real experience producing reports and other tangible things that had an effect in the real world.

As far as skills go, I work a lot with business clients. PR, from an organization perspective, is all about providing a service. I learned a lot about dealing with people from that position with our client work in second semester, which definitely prepared me for this job.

Loyalist PR: Any favourite memories from your year in Loyalist PR?

Justin: How can I pick just one? I have to say my biggest takeaway from the program was all the great experience I had with people. The people in my class, the people we did work for, the people in the community at large. We had some great times and some stressful times, but I wouldn't trade those times for anything.

Loyalist PR: Any words of wisdom to offer this year's Loyalist PR students?

Justin: First, focus on your writing. Good writing is a skill that few people have, but everyone wants. The best way to improve is to practice. Write, edit, erase, get feedback, try again. It's worth it in the end.

Second, get involved. Volunteer. Join a student organization. Employers are always looking for experience, and the best way for a student to get experience is by getting involved. It counts.

Loyalist PR: Thanks, Justin! We're proud of all you've accomplished in the short time since you've graduated. We wish you the very best of success.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Grad Profile: Lola McMurter (2012/13)

Today's Loyalist PR graduate profile features Lola McMurter (2012/13) who is now employed as the Special Events Coordinator for The Lung Association.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program, Lola studied Health Administration and Human Resources Management.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in the Post-Grad PR Program at Loyalist College?

Lola: I wanted something that would complement my degree and make me more employable. PR seemed a natural fit since I was interested in fundraising and communications.

Loyalist PR: How did the Post-Grad PR Program help prepare you for your current position?

Lola: I have used absolutely everything I learned! Even though there were times I thought I wouldn't use the material (i.e. how to create a media kit), I have used a wide range of skills in the fundraising events I have coordinated.

Loyalist PR: Any favourite memories of your year in Loyalist PR?

Lola: All of it - I had a blast! I especially enjoyed going to Steam Whistle (in Toronto) as part of our fall class trip.

Loyalist PR: Any words of wisdom for this year's Loyalist PR students?

Lola: Have fun and pay attention --  it's all useful! Enjoy - it goes by fast!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Grad Profile: Pascalle Desjardins (2012/13)

Today's Loyalist PR graduate profile features Pascalle Desjardins (2012/13) who is now employed as Public Relations Coordinator for the Brighton & District Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Pascalle completed a diploma in Recreation & Leisure Studies at Loyalist.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enrol in the Post-Grad PR Program at Loyalist?

Pascalle: After graduating from Recreation & Leisure, I didn't feel ready to go out into the working world. The public relations course started to come up within my circle of friends towards the end of the year. I knew a few people who had taken Rec & Leisure and then PR, so I started to ask them questions about the program. Growing up, I was always putting people before myself, and doing whatever I could to make others happy. What I didn't realize is that PR is a great fit for non-profit work; I felt it was the perfect fit for me!

Loyalist PR: How did the Post-Grad PR Program help prepare you for your current position?

Pascalle: It prepared me in ways I didn't expect it to. Public speaking and interacting with people has become a lot easier. I'm still not the best writer out there, but I did learn! I've used my writing skills when writing articles for a mini-magazine for our members. I was pretty comfortable with social media going into PR, but I did learn new things, and that has helped me improve the social media footprint of at the Brighton & District Chamber of Commerce. I'm always been complimented for being so prompt at posting things online!

Loyalist PR: Any favourite memories from your year in Loyalist PR?

Pascalle: Oh, the memories! One of my favourite memories is when we did our first three-minute speech in front of the class. Being French, I speak fast -- and when you add nerves into the equation, it's bad news! I remember spending hours practicing in front of my family for that presentation.

While presenting, I was nervous as can be. Now, looking back, I dont' know why I was so nervous. I've had to face much bigger groups with longer presentations, and I've done just fine!

Planning the end-of-the-year PRISM Awards luncheon is an awesome memory! I had such a good group to work with! During the year, I didn't have the chance to work with all my classmates. It was pretty special to get to really know them while planning such an important event for the entire class.

Loyalist PR: Any words of wisdom to share with this year's Loyalist PR students?

Pascalle: You will feel out of your comfort zone at times, but it's all a part of growing and becoming a better "you". Don't be afraid to try new things, have a positive attitude and make friends!

Loyalist PR: Thanks, Pascalle -- and good luck with the Chamber!