Friday, June 23, 2017

Grad Profile: Elizabeth Edwards (2016/17)

Today's Loyalist PR Graduate Profile features Elizabeth Edwards (2016/17) who is now employed as the Social Media and Public Relations Assistant for the Constituency Office of Member of Parliament Kim Rudd in Cobourg, Ontario. 

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations & Event Management program at Loyalist College, Elizabeth completed a diploma in Business Administration at Loyalist College.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in the Post-Graduate PR & Event Management program at Loyalist?

Elizabeth Edwards: Nearing the end of my business program I was still trying to figure out where I wanted to go from there. One of my classes in the business program was titled Professional Development and was a class that provided resources and options for students upon finishing the program and it included a few presentations on some of the post-grad programs offered at Loyalist College. I debated a few different options, but when the Public Relations post-graduate program was presented to me I knew it was the right decision for me and I applied before class even ended.

Loyalist PR: Could you describe your duties in your new job as Social Media and Public Relations Assistant?

Elizabeth: My position consists of maintaining Ms. Rudd’s social media presence, organizing her appearance at events when she is back in the riding, often attending these events with her and occasionally attending these events in place of her with remarks. I also assist in working with constituents that come to the office for help with federal government related inquiries and I have made occasional trips to Ottawa to assist Kim with caucus meetings, briefings and Question Period Preparation.

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

Elizabeth: Loyalist PR provided me with the skill set, the resources and the confidence to be able to transition smoothly from college into a working environment.

Loyalist PR: What was the highlight of your year in Loyalist PR?

Elizabeth: My year in Loyalist PR went so quickly that it’s difficult to pick a specific moment. The entire year was filled with amazing opportunities and I was able to meet so many new people. I found that in the last two weeks before we left for placement it was the time that we were really able to reflect back on the year we had together as a class and what we had learned. In this time we really got to know each other even better before we all ventured off to our placements and to the beginning of our careers.

Loyalist PR: Any words of advice for the new Loyalist PR students arriving this September?

Elizabeth: Always be prepared for anything; you never know when something will go wrong or if an amazing opportunity will surprise you, but you want to be ready for it. Don’t be shy; go out to events and meet new and influential people in your community, make sure you ask for their business card and don’t be afraid to email them after telling them how nice it was to meet them. Lastly, don’t take the resources that you have been given for granted. Each professor, every PowerPoint or template and every individual you meet through the program will be your resource. There will always be an opportunity later down the road that one of these resources will be of immense help, so don’t forget to use it!

Loyalist PR: We're so proud of you, Liz -- you're going to do amazing things! 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Grad Profile: Steph Young (2016/17)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Stephanie Young (2016/17) who is now employed as an Event Coordinator at The Lavin Agency in Toronto. 

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations & Event Management program, Stephanie completed a diploma in Business Sales and Marketing diploma from Loyalist College.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in the Post-Graduate Public Relations & Event Management program at Loyalist? 

Stephanie Young: When I finished Sales and Marketing I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do, specifically which area to work in. I felt incomplete and like I wasn't ready to be done school. I wanted to spend one more year at Loyalist and enhance my skills. I looked up all the post-grad programs and when I read the description for PR I knew that was the one. Everything just seemed to fit what I wanted to do, from event planning, to presentations, to digital media, fundraising, and not to mention it went hand-in-hand with my Sales and Marketing diploma from the previous year. 

Loyalist PR: What do you do as an Event Coordinator at The Lavin Agency? 

Stephanie: The Lavin Agency is a speakers' bureau, so we work with an elite group of active C-Level executives, scientists, economists, journalists, academics, and public intellectuals. As an event coordinator I handle all the logistics for the event, from the initial acceptance up until the day of the event, I coordinate everything from schedules, to travel, to pre-event calls. Pretty much everything logistics! I act as a middle man between the client that booked the speaker and the speaker themselves. 

Loyalist PR: How did the PR & Event Management program help prepare you for your current role?

Stephanie: Loyalist PR was a great program that dovetailed with my previous diploma and really helped me prepare for my current role. In our second semester, there was a large focus on hands-on work around events; and that was by far one of my favourite part of the program. Being able to organize and plan your own event from start to finish really helped me learn everything that it takes to go into one. And even though I'm not planning the specific event at this job, all of the skills that go into event planning and logistics transfer over, it's like fitting the pieces of the puzzle together! 

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

Stephanie: The highlight of the PR program for me was all of the hands on-work. Being able to create your own events from start to finish, fundraising for events, writing articles for Lasting Connections magazine, creating media kits, and being able to use my creativity in digital media. Those were definitely my top highlights of the program.

Loyalist PR: Any words of advice for the new PR students arriving this fall?

Stephanie: PR is a great credential to add onto your resume; it is applicable anywhere and in any industry, and employers take note of that! It's a packed year of work, but it's such a wide variety of work as well. It's also a fun program, there are so many things that we do that make learning fun - not too sound too cheesy there! Plus Kerry is great at always being there to lend a helping hand. Whether it's going over the details on an assignment - no matter how many questions you have, or helping you find an internship, or even a job! She is there the entire way through to help and even after you graduate! 

Loyalist PR: Thanks for your input, Stephanie -- and good luck in your exciting, new role! 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Grad Profile: Kate Clarke (2016/17)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Kate Clarke (2016/17) who is now employed as a Marketing Assistant for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations & Event Management program, Kate completed a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from Queen's University.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in the Post-Graduate Public Relations & Event Management program at Loyalist College

Kate Clarke: I entered university with the intention of becoming a teacher. However, over the course of my university career, I realized that what I really enjoyed doing was what I was doing in my extra-curriculars: planning events, researching and acting on opportunities, participating in community outreach, and communicating with a variety of stakeholders.  I wasn't really aware of public relations as a field of study or employment prior to applying to the program at Loyalist, but the more I learned about it, the more it seemed to align with my experience, skills, and interests, and I thought it would serve as a good transition out of academia and into the workforce while giving me a solid background in the technicalities and practicalities of corporate communications. 

Loyalist PR: Could you briefly describe your duties as a Marketing Assistant? 

Kate: In my current role, I am responsible for the coordination and planning of events put on by the faculty, which include recruitment presentations, executive receptions, faculty photoshoots, and marketing conferences.  I also maintain the university's research website, which requires me to interview professors about their research and populate their profiles.  

Another big part of my job has turned out to be working with the Director of Strategic Initiatives to support the development of new academic programs at the university, which often involves conducting market research, writing recommendations, and developing student and employer demand surveys.  

Finally, along with the rest of the marketing team, I provide support to the Faculty's Director of Marketing and to various marketing initiatives, which can entail everything from stuffing envelopes to calling students to monitoring social media for potential issues and general feedback.

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

Kate: Loyalist PR gave me the practical knowledge and hands-on experience that I didn't get in university, and I use the skills that I developed through the program every single day.  Whether I'm budgeting and booking for a conference, writing a research report, or maneuvering a tricky situation at an event, I can rely on the many times I practiced and applied the relevant skills during my time at Loyalist.  

Just as important as the frameworks and theories that we learned in class are the many opportunities we got to apply our knowledge in real-world situations - those kinds of experiences are truly invaluable.  Additionally, the internship is an amazing opportunity. Although I was one of the last people to secure my placement, I got to work exactly where I wanted, and would not have my current job otherwise. 

Loyalist PR: What was the highlight of your year in Loyalist PR?

Kate: My favourite part of the past year at Loyalist was our Smash and Dash event in November to support the United Way.  Event planning is my primary area of interest within public relations, and so getting to produce an original, large-scale event as a class, from conception to evaluation, was a really exciting and rewarding experience. 

Loyalist PR: Any words of advice for the new Loyalist PR students arriving this September?

Kate: Eight months goes by so quickly! Like most opportunities, this program will give back to you what you put into it, so make sure to take advantage of any and all opportunities (inside and outside of the classroom) that seem interesting to you.  In the same vein, learn as much as you can, because the goal of this program is to expose you to all the different areas within the PR field.  Make the most of all the resources available to you and use this opportunity to learn more about yourself and what you like (and don't like) to give yourself the best chance for success in the workplace.

Loyalist PR: Thanks, Kate -- we're excited to see the great achievements that lie ahead in your career! 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Loyalist PR grads make a difference every day

We love to see our Loyalist PR grads working to make the world a better place!

Loyalist PR grad Jessica Klein (2015/16) is now a Fundraising Assistant with the Canadian Cancer Society.

Way to go, Jessica -- you are a true inspiration!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Grad Profile: Mikaela Stacey (2016/17)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Mikaela Stacey (2016/17) who is now employed as the Digital Coordinator at Yeeboo Digital in Wellington, Ontario. 

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations & Event Management program, Mikaela completed a diploma in Business Administration at Loyalist College.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in the Post-Grad PR & Event Management program?

Mikaela Stacey: I actually knew about the Loyalist PR program before I started in the Business program. I've been interested in social media and event planning since high school, so it was kind of a plan for me to complete the business program and then transition into post-grad PR. In my second year of business, I talked to a family friend who is a grad of the program. She told me about her experience, and that definitely made my decision concrete.

Loyalist PR: Could you describe what you do in your new role? 

Mikaela: This role has given me great opportunities to work in a few different areas of the agency. I'm working on the internal brand marketing right now, which includes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. I also get to work on client projects, doing confirmation for TeamRaiser accounts and assisting with creative ads. I'm currently working toward my Adword and Analytics certifications within Google to begin working on new client projects

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

Mikaela: Loyalist PR gave me so many skills: where do I begin?! I work within the Yeeboo Hootsuite account every day, so the certification I received through the program is a huge asset. The digital design course has given me the skills needed to create banner ads for clients. Overall, Loyalist PR gave me the skills and knowledge needed to give me the confidence to work within the digital marketing sector.

Loyalist PR: What was the highlight of your year in Loyalist PR?

Mikaela: I have so many amazing memories from this year. One of the memories that stands out for me is the PRISM Awards. As the co-lead on the PRISM planning team, I was able to see this event go from planning stages to execution. This was such a rewarding project to work on, as we were able to create the last celebration event for our classmates, sponsors and supporters. Celebrating everyone's success is something I will definitely cherish forever.

Loyalist PR: Any words of advice for the new Loyalist PR students arriving this fall?

Mikaela: Balance is key. This program offers endless opportunities during and after the school year. Take every opportunity you can, but don't overdo it. You will have many deadlines throughout the year that approach faster than you anticipate. Most students will be juggling school work and part-time jobs while working to grasp these volunteer opportunities. So find your balance within these three areas and you will have the time of your life in Loyalist PR!

Loyalist PR: Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Mikaela -- we applaud you on your success! 

Grad Profile: Katrina Farnworth (2016/17)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Katrina Farnworth (2016/17) who is now employed as the Fundraising Coordinator with the Quinte Humane Society

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations & Event Management program, Katrina completed a diploma in Business Marketing at Humber College and a post-graduate certificate in Sports Entertainment Sales & Marketing at Loyalist College.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in the Post-Grad PR & Event Management program at Loyalist College?

Katrina Farnworth: I really wanted to focus on the event planning and organization side of things. I realized that the previous programs I graduated from were focusing more on the sales and marketing. 

Loyalist PR: Tell us a little bit about your new job and what you're doing there.

Katrina: In my new role, I use my design skills (Photoshop, Publisher, and the Adobe Suite I learned about in PR design class) to create posters, visual annual reports, brochures and everything in between. I also help with getting new sponsors, and staying connected with the old ones. I attend meetings with the board to go over different fundraising ideas and plan upcoming events. I visit schools, churches and different vendor shows to promote different QHS programs that are in place, or simply teach a classroom full of excited kids about the animal shelter (they get super excited when I bring the puppies and kittens out for them to play with). 

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

Katrina: Loyalist PR has helped prepare me in so many different ways; this includes the diverse set of design skills I now use daily, as well the knowledge and understanding of how to run a successful fundraiser. It has also has boosted my confidence, and shows me that I can get out there and make networking connections within the community. 

Loyalist PR: What was the highlight of the year for you?

Katrina: The highlight of my year was definitely the PRISM Awards; this event really showed business people, companies and our class just how far we really came throughout the year. This gave people the opportunity to see all the work everyone has put into the year.

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

Katrina: Don't be afraid of the unknown, don't be afraid to make connections, and don't be afraid to be yourself.

Loyalist PR: Thanks, Katrina and all the best on the new job! 

Friday, June 09, 2017

Happy Convocation Day!

We're so very proud of our 25 graduates who are now on their way into the workforce in public relations and event management. 

Good luck, everyone - we know you will be amazing!