by Antoinette Sarpong
As a 2009 graduate of Centennial’s corporate communications and PR (CCPR) program, Emily Abrahams considers herself lucky to have landed a job during one of Canada’s worst recessions.
“I can’t believe I have a job…and a good job,” said Abrahams, when asked how she felt after her Centennial field placement at PR agency Environics turned into a two-year full-time position. Abrahams joined Environics’ corporate and financial team, working on things that were a “little less sexy,” but nevertheless interesting, like MasterCard. “You can really get into a client and the value they bring,” said Abrahams, who now works in-house as a PR specialist at accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). “Now,” said Abrahams, “I think I will probably never leave this side of (communications). It’s interesting and relevant to the public. I can’t picture myself doing anything else. I’m never bored. I get to do interesting things, and work with interesting people. There is no better feeling than reading something in the Globe and Mail and knowing that you got it there.”
How did a graduate of Western University’s media, information and technoculture program, who hasn’t taken a math class since grade 11, end up working in corporate and financial communications?
Like many communicators, Abrahams’ love of writing made her consider journalism. Abrahams reconsidered because of the lack of job prospects in the area she wanted to focus on—sports journalism. She then considered law school. That is, until someone suggested PR.
“I looked into it, and realized that I could get everything I liked about journalism and law, in PR,” said Abrahams. “I liked strategic thinking. I liked writing a lot. I liked working with people. I thought that those are areas that I could touch on in PR and get a lot more variety in than with law or journalism.”
With that decision made, Abrahams made another life-changing one. She enrolled in Centennial’s CCPR program. “I knew from the second day of school that I made the right decision,” said Abrahams. “I knew for sure I wasn’t going to law school and I was going to take a crack at this PR thing.”
Abrahams chose Centennial for “many practical considerations,” like its guaranteed internship program and its social media and design courses. Centennial’s central location and ties to a Canadian TV classic were also an incentive. “I loved the campus,” said Abrahams. “I was a big Degrassi fan growing up so the idea of going to school at Degrassi High was awesome. Abrahams also credits her time at Centennial for jumpstarting her career.
“My year at Centennial was one of the best years of my life. It was better than all my university years combined. I loved the people I went to school with,” said Abrahams, who met her best friend at Centennial and is attending her fourth Centennial wedding this fall.
“I learned so much. I really felt that I was getting skills that would help me get a job.”