Today’s grad profile features Wayne Carruthers (2010/11) who is currently employed as the Planning & Design Coordinator for Hospice Prince Edward.
Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Wayne graduated from the Funeral Service Education Program at Humber College. He practiced in the social services and funeral sector for a number of years before applying to Loyalist College.
Loyalist PR: Can you tell us a bit about what your day-to-day duties are as the Planning & Design Coordinator for Hospice Prince Edward?
Wayne Carruthers: I work with a small but mighty team of staff and volunteers made up of local talent who have a passion for hospice care and life. Much of my time is spent developing and implementing a case for support that will provide future resources to expand our programs.
At present I am working to develop and launch Capital Campaign. I can honestly say that at this time last year I could not have possibly taken on the task of understanding donor relations before the Loyalist PR program. The relationships that I cultivated during that time have been invaluable to my professional development.
Two other projects include Hike for Hospice May 2012, and other signature and third party events. Daily I maintain the Hospice Prince Edward web site, social media sites, and the list goes on. All exciting and worthwhile work.
Loyalist PR: What made you decide to take Loyalist PR?
WC: Returning to school at the impressionable age of 50 was not an easy decision for me, however; it was the most effective way to take my skills from past careers and rejuvenate old diplomas and work experience.
Loyalist PR was the perfect transition to “New World” of communications and provided an opportunity to reinvent myself .
Loyalist PR: How did Loyalist PR help prepare you for your current position?
WC: The skills that I obtained I use every day at Hospice Prince Edward: hosting government official, fundraising, creating new releases and press conference, graphics design, donor relations, volunteer relations and team work. It’s all relevant to my current position.
The best preparation came from my internship at the Northumberland Hills Hospital where I absorbed everything that my mentor (Rhonda Cunningham and her staff) offered and continue to offer.
Loyalist PR: What were some of the highlights from your year in Loyalist PR?
WC: Oh my… that would have to be the trip to Toronto and hunting down Peter Mansbridge,in the CBC atrium for a group photo . The opportunity of hosting the class Christmas party at my house. But the major highlight was be recognized by my peers with the PRISM Spirit Award of Merit [at the end-of-the-year program awards luncheon].
Loyalist PR: Any advice for students entering the program this fall?
WC: My advice is frank but simple. Work with the team. If you have problems working with the team, this is the place to learn the skills.
Secondly, use your research time wisely. Loyalist PR is a post-graduate program that focuses on not only polishing your communication skills but your research skills. If you put yourself into it this program, it will develop skills that will set you apart and open doors of opportunity.
The secret of success in this program is having willingness for professional development and making time to have fun.
Loyalist PR: Thanks, Wayne – and congratulations on your achievements so far since graduation!