Friday, June 19, 2015

Grad Profile: Danielle Barnard (2014/15)

Today's Loyalist PR grad profile features Danielle Barnard (2014/15) who graduated two weeks ago here at Loyalist College. Since May, she has been employed as the Content Strategist at Crafted Stories Content Studio in Ottawa. 

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations program, Danielle completed a Business Sales & Marketing diploma at Loyalist College. 

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

Danielle Barnard: When I first decided to attend Loyalist College I had my heart set on Event Management. After completing the Sales and Marketing program, I was told that PR would be the perfect program for me.

Loyalist PR: What are some of your duties in your current role?

Danielle: As the Content Strategist I have a variety of jobs. A lot of my job consists of researching and creating writing pieces for our clients, whether it be press releases, Kickstarter campaigns, social media plans, content or creative briefs. Each client project is completely different, so I am always in charge of a different writing piece.

Loyalist PR: What do you like most about your job?

Danielle: I absolutely love my job. Each day is different; there are always new projects that are completely different in their own way. I work in an environment where everyone works as a team, and is always encouraging each other. My teammates each have their own unique skills, and it’s exciting to see how well everyone’s work comes together in the end for the final project. 

Crafted Stories is such a unique company that allows me to show my creative and professional side on every client project. Even though we are a small company, we are creating projects that showcase the strengths and uniqueness of all our clients in a big way.  This job has helped build my confidence further and to me, this is extremely important as a young person just out of school.

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

Danielle: Confidence: the most important step to success. You are constantly pushed out of your comfort zone in the program, and it’s amazing what the end result is. You spend your first semester learning a variety of skills and then second semester you really get to test it by doing client projects. It also helped me discover an entirely different set of jobs. I went into PR thinking I would become an Event Manager and here I am working as a Content Strategist. Thanks to the PR program, I found a new passion and excelled in a variety of skills such as writing, presenting and networking.

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

Danielle: Where do I even start? Last year was amazing. The people you meet will become lifetime friends. The class potlucks were definitely a favourite of everyone, but I would have to say the biggest highlight would be the Toronto trip. Visiting with a variety of PR professionals and seeing them in action was great. It helped bond with your classmates and see what some of the alumni were doing, while of course having an amazing day touring Toronto!

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

Danielle: Take it all in and put your all into everything; you’ll be surprised how much of this stuff you actually use and how much of an advantage it gives you when showing an employer your portfolio. Take advantage of the internship. You never know if it will land you a job or direct you in the right way; people have connections.

Make sure you go for the dream internship, no matter how impossible it may seem. Be picky when choosing an internship as well; you should be selling your skills to them, but they should also be selling themselves to you. An internship should teach you and grow your experience as a PR professional. 

If you work hard you will land the dream job eventually.  I am currently at a job I can go to every day excited and ready to prove my skills! 

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