Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Grad Profile: Ashliegh Gehl (2013/14)

Today's Loyalist PR graduate profile features Ashliegh Gehl (2013/14) who is now employed as the Social Media Marketing Coordinator at Loyalist College.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist, Ashliegh completed a degree from Lakehead University in Indigenous Studies and an advanced diploma in Journalism from Loyalist College. She continues to expand her learning with courses in creative, food and travel writing. 

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enrol in Loyalist PR?

Ashliegh Gehl: When I was working as a journalist, I focused on arts and education. I found myself compelled by the public relations professionals I was interviewing. These people are lifelong learners who are perpetually curious about the world. I had spoken to a Loyalist PR grad (who also studied journalism) and the program seemed like a perfect fit.

Loyalist PR:  What are some of your duties as Social Media Marketing Coordinator? 

Ashliegh: My position is extremely well-rounded. I have a hand in every aspect of Marketing and Communications. I write profiles, edit magazine submissions, craft social media messages, monitor the media, send out press releases and attend events.

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

Ashliegh: When you’re developing a social media strategy, you’re tasked with making your content come alive. In small, meaningful social spaces (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), you’re igniting a story. You’re building (and fostering) a community. Loyalist PR focuses on community building, strategy and creativity. Three essential skills I use every day.   

Loyalist PR: Are there any highlights of your year in Loyalist PR that you’d like to share?

Ashliegh: Discovering the depth and scope of Public Relations was a continual highlight. The field is like a bicycle wheel. Each spoke represents a different aspect of the field. From fundraising, to events, to agency, to education and the arts, the depth of the field seems endless.

Loyalist PR: I love that bicycle analogy (and plan to use it!). Any words of wisdom for this year’s graduating students?

Ashliegh: Take a cue from Canadian author and journalist Pierre Berton. In everything you create, be it in print or online, write about the people, write about the places. Berton died before Facebook, but I think he would’ve been an amazing digital storyteller (bowtie and all). 

As you venture into the exciting world of Public Relations and you’re writing your first social media strategy, take a step back and think of Berton. Every great story has people and every great story has place. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What internship supervisors are saying...

Loyalist PR student Jenny Gilmer (second from left) interned with the Northumberland Hills Hospital. She teamed up with local businesses and residents to host the Northumberland Street Hockey Festival in support of the hospital.
What a great month it's been for Loyalist PR field placements! 

Our thanks to the 25 employers from Ottawa to Toronto and everywhere in between who provided awesome field placement experiences for our Post-Graduate Public Relations students here at Loyalist College.

Here are just a few of their observations about this year's interns: 

"The student exceeded every expectation I could have possibly had for her placement. In four short weeks, she became an indispensable asset to the team..."

"Extremely professional, a very fast learner, adaptable and doesn't hesitate to offer valuable input into the creative and implementation processes. I have never worked with a student so committed to a job well done."
Loyalist PR student Melanie Lyman (second from right) with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne at the recent launch of new Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre.
"His focus on social media and suggestions for our web site have been invaluable."

"We were extremely impressed with the student's technical and interpersonal abilities in the office. Her dedication, focus and work output on the job should be a standard for all interns." 

"The student handled all assigned tasks with confidence and ability." 
Loyalist PR student Joanne Fralick expanded her vision during her internship with the National Air Force Museum of Canada in Trenton, Ontario. 
"The student was excellent: intelligent, informed, motivated and hard-working." 

"He eagerly tackled a variety of tasks with poise, asking for guidance only when necessary. He demonstrated his ability to work independently for the duration of his placement."

"The student was an excellent communicator. Her advanced skill set enabled her to do all tasks asked of her immediately. Highly professional. Very pleasant personality and strong work ethic..." 

"She showed initiative and was comfortable presenting her ideas to myself and our staff." 

"In addition to her fantastic interpersonal skills, the student's writing is clean and clear. She conducts interviews with confidence and poise. She worked very independently and with very little supervision. She not only gets the job done, but does an excellent job of it!"

"The student was an asset to our team, providing us with credible information on our event structure, and the data-minded information that was needed to assess our membership standings."

"She is very knowledgeable, respectful of others and was extremely helpful in creating support tools, as well as a social media schedule." 

"We are happy to have the student stay on with us..."

Way to go, everyone -- we're so proud of you all! 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Loyalist PR student wins Rotary scholarship

Congratulations to Loyalist PR student Clara Quinn (2014/15) on winning the 2015 Bob Michaud Memorial Scholarship for Leadership from the Rotary Club of Belleville. 

The Bob Michaud Bursary of $500 annually is awarded to a recipient 21 years of age or younger who has displayed the attributes of a student active in community service, who also displays entrepreneurial spirit and who is active in sports.

Dianne Spencer, on behalf of Loyalist College, presented Clara Quinn with this year's bursary. 

Clara, a student of the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program, was the communication media coordinator for the Women's Under-19 Floor Ball team, as well as team leader. She is an Enactus student member, and participated in the Build Belleville deputation.

She is the coach of the badminton varsity team, and is dedicated to keeping young professionals working in the region, and helping to attract new businesses to the area.

Way to go, Clara - we're proud of you! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Grad Profile: Chris Robinson (2009/10)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Chris Robinson (2009/10) who is now employed as the Western Canada Outreach Coordinator for Top Shot Hockey Inc. based in Richmond, BC.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Chris completed a diploma in Radio Broadcasting.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in the Post-Grad PR Program at Loyalist?

Chris Robinson: I wanted to enroll in the Loyalist PR program after speaking to students who took it in previous years. It seemed like a great opportunity to expand my skill set and provide me with a better opportunity to  land a job after college.

Loyalist PR: What are some of your current duties as Western Canada Outreach Coordinator?

Chris: I am responsible for expanding the Top Shot Hockey brand in western Canada. I work with organizers of hockey tournaments, public events and companies launching promotional campaigns to find ways our equipment can be used for their event. It can be anything from a fan zone for the World Juniors and Memorial Cup to launching a new product. I am also responsible for setting up and operating these events.

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

Chris: Loyalist PR prepared me in a variety of ways. It taught me how to make presentations with impact, how to manage client expectations, plan and execute public events, and to always have a contingency plan. It also taught me the importance of being prepared for any situation that may arise while holding an event.

Loyalist PR: Any highlights of your year in Loyalist PR that you'd like to share?

Chris: I enjoyed the entire year, and felt that the eight months just flew by. Two of the biggest highlights for me were the mock disaster and the fundraisers we organized. I plan and organize events on a regular basis, and the fundraiser for Loyalist PR was one of the first times I had the opportunity to create and execute an event for the general public.

Loyalist PR: Any words of advice for this year's graduating students?

Chris: Enjoy it, learn everything you can, hold onto your notes and buy the CP Style Guide. I still refer to hand-outs I received in the class as well as the style guide.

Also, if you're not great at graphic design, stick with it and practice, practice, practice! I did not like it in school, but have had to reteach myself how to use Illustrator and other Adobe programs in recent years for work. It was much nicer to have Peggy there guiding you!

Loyalist PR: It has been a pleasure to catch up with you, Chris -- enjoy that West Coast weather, and all the best with your thriving career!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Loyalist PR student in Kingston Whig Standard

Photo source: Kingston Whig Standard, April 17, 2015 (Michael Lea)
This past week, the Kingston Whig Standard published an article featuring Loyalist PR student Katie Stewart (2014/15).

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Katie Stewart has crammed an awful lot into her seven months at Loyalist College.

As well as taking a full-time post-graduate program in public relations, she spent her extracurricular hours working with a regional improvisation competition, an after-school drama program and almost a dozen fundraising activities that earned $18,000 for local charities. 

"And I also have a part-time job," she added.

The 23-year-old is currently doing a four-week internship program with the cultural services department at Kingston's City Hall.

To read the full article, click here. 

Way to go, Katie! 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Grad Profile: Jami Pollard (2012/13)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Jami Pollard, Service & Event Coordinator at Isaiah Tubbs Resort in Picton, Ontario.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Jami completed a two-year diploma in Business Administration at Loyalist.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in Loyalist PR?

Jami Pollard: I have a passion for helping others, I've always been interested in event coordination, and I love to plan and organize. Public relations seemed like a perfect fit.

Loyalist PR: What are some of your duties as Service & Event Coordinator at Isaiah Tubbs Resort?

Jami: My position is constantly evolving and changing. I am the assistant to our Sales Manager. This means I communicate with clietns through email, by phone, as well as in person to attain details for their upcoming event. I set up and coordinate any weddings happening at the resort, and I input a lot of information and details to create event orders for any company conference, social event or wedding happening at Isaiah Tubbs. These are some of the requirements of this position, but every day is different, and that's what I love about it.

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

Jami: I learned a lot of valuable knowledge from this program. Loyalist PR taught me professional communication skills, improved my writing abilities and gave me the confidence to apply myself. I use these skills every day.

Loyalist PR: Any highlights you'd like to share from your year in Loyalist PR?

Jami: I met some great people and learned a lot. I always enjoyed our guest speakers. They were so full of energy and first-hand information based on their experience. But my favourite part of the program was always the execution of our events and fundraisers which we were so passionate about. I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for Loyalist PR.

Loyalist PR: Any words of wisdom for this year's graduating students?

Jami: It's an open road. Follow your heart. Do something you're passionate about. When things get tough, stay strong and you'll succeed.

Loyalist PR: Great advice, Jami! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, and all the best along your career path.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Grad Profile: Tonia Ebbers (2013/14)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Tonia Ebbers (2013/14) who is now employed as the Marketing Assistant for Freedom 55 Financial/London Life in Belleville.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Tonia completed a diploma in Business Sales and Marketing.

Following graduation, Tonia worked on contract as the Social Media and Special Events Coordinator for the Municipality of Napanee before moving into her new marketing role with Freedom 55/London Life.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enrol in Loyalist PR?

Tonia Ebbers: I really liked the idea of event planning and social media. I was always interested in planning events since I planned a few in high school. I also have an obsession for social media, and thought that it would be the coolest job in the world to do it for a living. I also enjoyed the marketing aspect of my Business Sales & Marketing diploma from Loyalist, and I thought Public Relations would go hand-in-hand with that.

Loyalist PR: How do you feel Loyalist PR helped prepare you for your current role?

Tonia: I think Loyalist PR helped prepare me for my current position, because I gained a lot of verbal and written communication skills. In my job now, I am constantly dealing with clients via email, as well as in person. 

The previous job I had was a Social Media and Special Events Coordinator, and PR definitely helped me land that role because of all the hands-on experience we gained throughout the school year planning events, social media plans,etc. My current position really liked the amount of experienced I gained from my previous position, and that's the main reason they hired me.

Loyalist PR: Can you share with us any highlights from your year in Loyalist PR?

Tonia: One of my favourite things in PR was Digital Media class. I loved that class, and have used a lot of the knowledge I gained when I was working as a Social Media and Special Events Coordinator in Napanee.

My employers were so impressed with the print and digital marketing I could create using InDesign and Photoshop. I also created an entire web site, and I wouldn't have known where to start if I hadn't taken Digital Media.

I also enjoyed creating the real social media plans and strategies for real-life clients. Another favourite was the internship portion of the program. My internship supervisor planned a perfect month for me where I could gain as much experience as possible. It was great!

Loyalist PR: Any words of advice for this year's graduating students?

Tonia: My advice would be to try and find an internship you're interested in, don't just settle for what's easiest. I worked really hard to land my internship with the Municipality of Prince Edward County, because I knew my dream job would be to do communications, social media and event planning for a municipality. I didn't land a job there, but it helped me secure my next position with the Town of Greater Napanee.

Don't get discouraged when you graduate and can't find a job in your field right away. Everything is very competitive, and lack of experience can be hard to overcome. Taking on internships, contract positions and volunteer work can help you gain some experience and hopefully help you land the perfect job.

Loyalist PR: Thanks for your insights, Tonia -- and good luck with the new position!

Loyalist PR students gain hands-on experience

Loyalist PR student Maclaine Chadwick participates in a donor tour while on field placement with University Hospitals Kingston Foundation. 
All is quiet on campus at the moment, as Loyalist PR students pursue their field placements from Ottawa to Toronto and everywhere in between.                                                          

Field placements help connect students with off-campus professionals who challenge them to hone their skills in such areas as PR writing, campaign creation, strategic analysis, communications planning, media measurement and more.
Loyalist PR student Maria Menjivar attends the filming of a local TV news segment with Loyalist PR grad Karen Parker of Downtown Belleville and MPP Todd Smith.
This year's students are interning with a variety of organizations, including (but not limited to): the Pan/Am Games Torch Run Relay, City of Kingston, United Way of Ottawa, University Hospitals of Kingston Foundation, Limestone District School Board, Hastings County, Bay of Quinte Tourism, Queens University, Todd Smith, Member of Provincial Parliament, Stirling Festival Theatre, National Air Force Museum of Canada and many more.

Have a great week on placement, everyone!