Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Grad Profile: Clara Quinn (2014/15)

Today's Loyalist PR Graduate Profile features Clara Quinn (2014/15), who is now employed as the Event & Office Coordinator for the Small Business Centre in Belleville, Ontario.

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

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

Clara Quinn: Ever since my senior year of high school, I wanted to do a specific sports post-grad program I had my eye on for awhile, because I thought it was my only way of getting ahead in the sports industry. During my second year of Business, I ended up volunteering as the Media & Marketing Director for the 2016 Under-19 Women's World Floorball Championships to be held in Belleville in 2017. I wanted skills to complement that role.

I had heard about Loyalist PR through someone who was in the program at the time, and I realized PR had endless amounts of career possibilities in all types of industries. Loyalist PR grads have a stellar reputation - we're everywhere! I knew it was the program that would help me develop and improve the skills I was already using every day in sports.

Loyalist PR: How did Loyalist PR help prepare you for your current role with the Small Business Centre?

Clara: My internship was the "TSN Turning Point" so far in my career. My former co-workers at my internship had referred me to the Small Business Centre when they found out they were trying to fill a contract position, and the rest was history! 

I also loved having a complete portfolio by the end of the semester -- knowing you're prepared to back your skills and experience up is so comforting during an interview. The event management, writing and design classes taught me skills I use every day in my job and for my volunteering roles. 

Loyalist PR: Tell us a bit about what you do every day.

Clara: I organize a multitude of workshops that we host at the Small Business Centre every month. Also, when there is an event being hosted by one of our five municipal partners, I assist in those larger events. I'm also the main person helping to organize the larger annual events the Small Business Centre runs. The smaller (yet still important) tasks I also perform include various office admin duties, updating our social media accounts, designing marketing materials for all events, and providing marketing and media consulting for our new/existing business start-up clients as required.

Loyalist PR: What do you like about your job?

Clara: I meet a lot of people from all over the Bay of Quinte area and around the world in all types of businesses. I also get to reinforce relationships in my current job with people I've met through my role with the World Championships. I love having some creative freedom, and being the person running the show behind the scenes. Seeing the relief our clients have after you've coached them through something new makes it all worth it.

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

Clara: My three stand-out highlights include my internship, the class trip to Toronto and scrumptious potlucks. I got some incredible mentoring and experience from my internship with Bay of Quinte Tourism, and the job referral was the cherry on top. The Toronto trip was eye-opening for me, because I could bond with my classmates and learn about bigger companies that focus on PR. And as for the much-anticipated potlucks -- need I say more?

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

Clara: Learn Adobe design and keep your design skills fresh -- I've found it's what gives you the edge over other job hunters. Pay attention to new programs and software that you'll learn from your classmates. And as far as internship goes: 1) Be yourself 2) Select an internship where you'll be mentored and 3) Find an internship that has contacts in the industry you want to be in. 

Finally, never stop dreaming!

Loyalist PR: Thanks for your time, Clara - we're proud of all you've accomplished! Good luck in the future, we'll be following your career as it develops. 

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