New friends and plenty of talent at the Story Arts Centre for CCPR

Posted by Anthony Ou, student, class of Spring 2015

The past 14 weeks at Centennial College have been loaded with networking opportunities, writing exercises, group meetings, group outings and plenty of new friends. The one-year postgrad certificate program in Corporate Communications and Public Relations at Centennial (#CCPR) has stood out for me as being one of the best learning experiences so far.

Several students from CCPR celebrating CCPR's Story Arts Centre campus’s Beerfest event

Several students from CCPR celebrating CCPR’s Story Arts Centre campus’s Beerfest event

CCPR has two campuses (one in Toronto and another in Pickering) but the standout quality about the Story Arts Centre campus in Toronto where I’m studying, is how tight-knit the community is, from my peers, to the professors and faculty, to the other students on campus. For us, we’re right next to Greektown in Toronto and have the bragging rights of studying at the same school in which they filmed the original “Degrassi High” series. We have the fortune of being under the same roof as all the other creative communications programs that Centennial has to offer, such as advertising, journalism and digital animation. You could just call us the cool kids!

The professors truly are superstars. They excel at what they do and bring many years of experience working in the PR industry. By practicing what they preach, this gives students the chance to gain confidence in what they’re learning. The professors motivate students by giving each and every student the attention they require in order to help them succeed. I haven’t had any mentors who have been so passionate about teaching and wanting their pupils to succeed more than these.

A group of CCPR students supporting their colleagues at one of the CCPR student-run charity events, More Than Just a Brew

A group of CCPR students supporting their colleagues at one of the CCPR student-run charity events, More Than Just a Brew

Having recently graduated from the University of Toronto, it was actually a nice change to be able to share the next year of my life with 35 others in my section who are also very passionate about PR. We spend five days a week together, but we’ve become so close that we make plans to see each other on the weekend too! Come to think of it, we probably see each other more than our own families. We’ve become our own little family. Karaoke, dancing and Secret Santa – we’re doing it all and we’re doing it up. We’ve so far shared plenty of laughs, especially when we’re given freedom, in class, to creatively solve business problems using PR. Or we just laugh because our professors are just so quotable. “Flimsy business cards equals flimsy people,” says writing professor Vivienne McCuaig. It’s true.

Many CCPR students attended Centennial College’s 1000 Dinners event, which stimulated conversation about reimagining public spaces, part of Project Fusion and in collaboration with CivicAction

Many CCPR students attended Centennial College’s 1000 Dinners event, which stimulated conversation about reimagining public spaces, part of Project Fusion and in collaboration with CivicAction

Outside of the classroom, we have the opportunity to join CPRS and IABC events (depending on the membership we registered for at the beginning of the program). There are plenty of networking events, field trips to PR agencies and opportunities to connect with working PR professionals. Our campus also hosts Project Fusion, a student group taking on complex civic issues and presenting innovative solutions to better communities in the GTA. You can check out some Project Fusion initiatives from previous years here and here, with many students from CCPR. It’s a very immersive experience!

It’s only been 14 weeks, but as our first semester draws to an end for the holidays, I can’t wait to take this knowledge and training with me next semester, as my colleagues and I all vie for coveted field placement opportunities. I think it’s safe to say that we are all so hyped for what’s next. Stay tuned!

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