Today's Loyalist PR graduate profile features Jennifer Gilmer (2014/15) who is now employed as the Communications Coordinator for Ontario's Highlands Tourism Organization.
Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Jenny completed a degree is Sociology/Geography at the University of British Columbia's Okanagan Campus.
Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in Loyalist PR?
Jennifer Gilmer: A mentor of mine recommended that I took into PR at Loyalist. I was really interested in working in the non-profit industry, especially in the fundraising field. I conducted an informational interview, and my mentor recommended the program as a way to build on all I had learned at university with more practical, "real world" experience.
Loyalist PR: What are some of your duties as Communications Coordinator with Ontario Highlands Tourism Organization?
Jenny: My duties include the internal and external communications for the organization. Internally, I create and send out communications pieces to our members and operators, and am also a touch point for operators and members who have questions or who are looking to partner with different initiatives.
Externally, I handle our media relations, schedule familiarization tours in the region, maintain our industry web site, respond to visitor inquiries and connect visitors with operators in the region.
Loyalist PR: What do you like most about your job?
Jenny: I really enjoy the creative aspects of my job. I love the writing opportunities and enjoy planning unique trips to showcase our region. It's not exactly where I saw myself when I first started the PR program, but it's an industry I really love being a part of now, with a lot of unique opportunities and awesome people.
Loyalist PR: How did the Post-Grad Public Relations Program at Loyalist help prepare you for your current role?
Jenny: Loyalist PR prepared me for the position by providing me with the practical skills and knowledge to tackle a wide variety of tasks. I think most importantly, it gave me the confidence in my ability to take on challenges and perform my job independently.
Loyalist PR: Any highlights of your year in Loyalist PR that you'd like to share?
Jenny: All of the quirky moments and jokes. I enjoyed that the class really became a close-knit group, and offered a lot of support and encouragement to one another. Even now, alumni often share job opportunities and I reach out to my former classmates for advice or just to chat all the time.
Loyalist PR: Any words of advice for this year's PR students?
Jenny: Take it all in, and try not to stress out! Don't brush off anything you're learning as not applicale to you, as you never know where your future will lead or what industry you'll end up in. You might just find yourself scrambling to find notes one day on how to properly address a letter to the Governor General!
Loyalist PR: Thank so much for your insights, Jenny - and good luck in your new position!