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!