Freeze Frame with Rachel Fehr (08/09)

Today’s grad profile features Rachel Fehr (Loyalist PR 08/09) who is now employed as Community Development Coordinator with the Batawa Development Corpororation.

Prior to enrolling in Loyalist PR, Rachel earned a B.A. in Business Communications.

Freeze Frame: Can you describe some of your duties as Community Development Coordinator?

Rachel Fehr: My duties can encompass anything! We have a lot of events so I am heavily involved in the planning, marketing and execution of those events. I write a lot of pieces for the paper and try to generate press coverage for different initiatives that are occurring in the area. I maintain a clipping file, and also forward those articles to Mrs. Bata so that she can be aware of the happenings in the town that bears her name. I also do a lot of the "boring stuff" like administration and accounting, but it is nice to have some easy stuff to do when events are finished.

FF: How did you learn about Loyalist PR?

RF: I was already thinking about a Post Grad PR program when I came across Loyalist PR. I knew it would set me apart from other grads so it was great to see the program I wanted was offered in the community I wanted to stay in.

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

RF: My internship [at Canadian Forces Base in Trenton]! My internship was an absolutely amazing experience and was a chance to practice PR in a professional setting, with amazing mentors. It also made clear to me the aspect of PR that I really wanted to do.

Prior to Loyalist PR, my writing just wasn't where it should be. I really developed my own style of writing and practiced the fundamentals and now when my boss asks me for a press release, I can create one in a matter of minutes instead of hours.

The graphic design element of the program is an outstanding skill to have. Simply having the knowledge and experience of working with Adobe CS3 has gotten me interviews that I never would have had before. My current employer loves that they no longer have to pay a private company to prepare their documents for print.

The process we learned for event planning was also exceedingly helpful. This aspect of the program gave me a better way to plan and execute events and to identify potential problems early on. I have used these skills on many occasions during our events.

FF: Are there any highlights that stand out in your mind when it comes to your Loyalist PR experience?

RF: Highlights would have to be the Toronto trip because it was an amazing experience and we got to meet George [Stoumboulopoulos]. The chance to write for Hockey Canada is something I am still really proud of and of course, internship. Can't say enough about internship.

FF: Any words of advice for students beginning the program this fall?

RF: Go to class! You need to be there to truly understand the message being taught. It isn't enough to just read the book at home, you need to participate in everything that happens in that class because you will learn so much more if you do.

FF: Anything else to add?

RF: You really need to focus on what you want to get out of the program and you will get it. It was hard for me to say I only want a very specific kind of job but in the end, I am exactly where I want to be. There were obstacles in getting here but my experience in Loyalist PR is what made the difference. It helped me realize what I wanted to do and gave me the confidence to know it would happen.

FF: Thanks, Rachel and good luck!