Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Grad Profile: Adrienne Barrie (PR 2010/11)

Today's Loyalist PR grad profile features Adrienne Barrie (2010/11) who is now employed as the Development Officer at the Northumberland Hills Hospital Foundation in Cobourg, Ontario.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Adrienne completed the Print Media Program at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario and worked in the field for three years.

Loyalist PR: Tell us about your duties as Development Officer at the Northumberland Hills Hospital Foundation.

Adrienne Barrie: My role is leading and directing the Annual Giving/Signature Events at the Foundation, as well as any third party events that involve the hospital. Other duties include maintaining positive relations with donors and assisting the Foundation in reaching its goal of raising a minimum of $10 million during the next five years. Currently we are working on the organization and planning of our 11 annual gala event.

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

AB: When I graduated from Algonquin, I knew I was eventually going to go back to school, but wasn't sure which direction I wanted to take. I started doing research and liked the fact that PR could lead me in so many different directions.

The post-grad program at Loyalist stood out to me, because of the length of the program. I liked that I was able to spend eight months learning, and then get right out into the "real world" and get hands-on experience, rather than spend another three years in classes. After meeting with Kerry to chat about the program, I knew it was the right choice for me, and I could learn a lot from her and the other teachers.

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

AB: The PR Program has helped me in so many different ways. I would not get through everyday life without everything I learned at Loyalist. It has taught me how to take on leadership roles, gave me the skills I needed to be able to get up in front of 50 people for a presentation, and how to truly be a team player. Before coming to Loyalist, I was not confident in my writing. Throughout the program (with lots of help from Aaron!), I developed the skills I needed to create clear writing pieces.

The thing I liked the most about Loyalist PR is the fact that you aren't just taught about PR, you actually get to experience it hands-on. Event planning, writing articles that get published, class and group fundraisers, community workshops and social media training -- they have all taught us something along the way that we can now carry on in our professional careers.

Loyalist PR: What were some of the highlights from your year in Loyalist PR?

AB: There are so many! Inside the classroom, I'd have to say all the guest speakers. They all came with such enthusiasm for their careers and it was inspiring to hear their presentations. Another highlight for me is the friendships I have made. You spend a lot of time with those people, and they become your little family. Everyone comes from different backgrounds, and has different beliefs, so you can always learn from the people around you.

The class trip to Toronto early in the year really helped bring us all closer together as a team. Who could forget Wayne at the CBC building and the Christmas party at Castle Carruthers with "Santa"!

Loyalist PR: Any advice for students entering the PR Program this fall?

AB: Don't be afraid. If opportunities come your way, take them. There are always people coming into class, or at events that could potentially lead you to a job or be your boss one day, so make the most out of every opportunity. Don't be afraid to ask for help from your teachers and peers. Everyone comes from different backgrounds so you're bound to learn lots from everyone.

Loyalist PR: Great to talk to you again, Adrienne -- best of luck with your new job!