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! 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Loyalist PR grad travels to UK for World Party

Loyalist PR grad Shorey Andrews (2006/07) spent the past week in London, England with the Just Eat World Conference. 

Based in Toronto, Shorey is now a copywriter for Just Eat Canada

Looks like a fun way to earn a living -- next time take us with you, Shorey!

Thursday, June 04, 2015

PR grad testimonial: Devon Taylor (2011/12)

“A year out of university without any leads for a career in communications led me to apply to the Loyalist PR program; it was the best decision of my life

Not only did I gain confidence and learn valuable skills that I use daily, I made strong professional connections and friendships. 

Loyalist opened many doors and has taken me to Toronto and back. Now I manage all the PR and communications for a local non-profit and I’m loving it!”

~ Devon Taylor, Communications & Development Coordinator, Trenton Military Family Resource Centre  

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Grad Profile: Stephanie Sant (2010/11)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Stephanie Sant (2010/11) who is employed as a Digital Content Specialist with Dogs Naturally Magazine in Barrie, Ontario.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Steph completed a diploma in Broadcast Journalism at Loyalist College. 

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

Stephanie Sant: I had my eye on the PR program at Loyalist College during my last year of Broadcast. Being the small, tight-knit community that the college is, I knew a few people who were in the program and highly recommended it. 

I knew the post-graduate program would open more doors in my career, plus there were many aspects of the program that were right up my alley including event planning, fundraising and presenting. I had no idea the program would open my eyes to graphic design and social media, which is where my path has taken me since then! 

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

Stephanie: Loyalist PR helped build my confidence and give me the structure I needed to be successful. Our professors were incredibly inspiring and put the time in to make sure everyone succeeded. We spent hours building campaigns from scratch, working with real charities and designing material for actual marketing purposes. The entire experience was hands-on and I was lucky to be apart of a class that was so dedicated and supportive; it made it easy and enjoyable to work as a team. 

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

Stephanie: I build online marketing campaigns and advertisements, post articles daily to social media, work with a team to put together large scale online webinars, help build out the magazine during production and finally, I work with writers to assign and collect content. 

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

Stephanie: Oh boy, I would have to say the United Way Truckload Sale. The entire class worked on this event and it was a long long long day. But so rewarding. We sold Procter & Gamble products for a fraction of the price and the collected funds went back to the United Way. The event was right before Christmas so it was a great time to catch shoppers! 

Loyalist PR: Any advice for this week’s graduating students?

Stephanie: Listen to Kerry, she's never wrong, LOL!  Seriously, my advice would be to work hard, be yourself and follow your heart. I know people hear that all the time, but it's true! There is such thing as working in a job you love, for real, it exists, it took me a long time to get there, but in the end it's worth it!  

Loyalist PR: Thanks for your time, Steph -- and good luck with your career in the years ahead! 

Monday, June 01, 2015

PR grad testimonial: Shonna Spicer (2012/13)

“The Loyalist CollegePublic Relations program definitely prepared and made me feel more confident when entering this popular industry. Everything we did was hands-on, from communications planning and graphic design to event management for actual clients. The small class size really made it feel like a real workplace environment.”

~ Shonna Spicer (PR 2013), Coordinator, Development & Fan Initiatives, Jays Care Foundation, Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club