Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Freeze Frame with Kate Shaughnessy (Loyalist PR 07/08)

Today’s Freeze Frame features Kate Shaughnessy (Loyalist PR 07/08) who is now a Program Assistant for the Enrichment Studies Unit (ESU) at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Under the direction of the Department of Arts and Science, the ESU runs academic programs for gifted elementary and high school students.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Kate completed a B.A. (Hons) history degree at Queen’s University.

Freeze Frame: What made you choose the Post-Grad PR Program at Loyalist College?

Kate Shaughnessy: After my undergrad, I took a year off to work and then decided that I wanted to hone my technical writing and communications skills. I did some research on PR around Ontario and found that Loyalist had a great post-grad program.

Actually, this blog was a big seller for me. I was intrigued by what the students were doing in their classes, sifted through endless accounts of Loyalist alum and their post-grad careers, and was intrigued by all of the volunteer and outreach work that the students were doing.

FF: What do you enjoy most about your job?

KS: The best part of my job thus far is exploring sponsorships. The ESU is a cost-recovery program and at the moment, we have only one sponsor. I am working feverishly to gain some more community support for the unit.

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

KS: So much of what I learned at Loyalist can be attributed to my success at work. A lot of my time is spent coordinating programs, securing appropriate venues, organizing course allocations, liaising with Event Services, the Phys Ed Centre, security and suppliers and synchronizing program logistics. Event planning at Loyalist was a great prep for this field of work.

FF: What three lessons did Loyalist PR teach you?

KS: Only three lessons? Hmmm… First, “You’ll never know if you don’t ask.” This is especially true in the non-profit world, but Kerry definitely taught me that there is no harm in asking for free stuff. All anybody can say is “no!”

Second: volunteer, volunteer, volunteer! It’s a great way to network, build a stellar resume and of course, add value to your own life.

And last but not least – FISH! I have the FISH magnet in my office and it reminds me to have fun at work every day.

FF: So what’s your favourite memory of Loyalist PR?

KS: My favourite memory at Loyalist PR would have to be the Marketwire Morning Mingle networking breakfast. So much work, and too much fun!

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