By Courtney Ferguson
All I can say is wow – what a ride! I feel like I blinked and first semester is already over. The past 14 weeks of this intensive post-graduate program have been a roller coaster.
The corporate communications and public relations program at Centennial is nothing like university. Back in January when I was looking into post-grad programs, I knew it would be a lot different from university, and boy was I right. I was excited to start a program that had a more practical element to it, and that’s why I chose Centennial. Everything in the program relates back to real-world experience. Whether it’s listening to a guest speaker in business class, to hosting an event, Centennial’s CCPR program gives you the knowledge, experience and guts to make in the real world.
Having just finished the first half of this intense eight-month program, I wanted to reflect on this semester and share what I think are the most important tips and things I learned:
1. Know how to work in groups (and juggle multiple schedules!)
Coming from a university background, this was probably the hardest thing for me to get used to. This program has a lot of group work; the entire project and event management class is one big group project. I was very nervous starting off this semester and knowing how much group work there is. In university, you only have to rely on yourself for assignment. Working in groups has been a challenge at times, but learning to excel in a collaborative environment is important in this industry. And there is no better feeling then seeing your group’s hard work come to fruition.
2. Get to know your instructors
Every single one of the instructors in this program have some much knowledge and experience. I highly recommend you chat with them and engage in class. They have years of real world experience, and their advice is important.
3. Network, network, network!
You never know where your next job could come from. Whether it’s joining one of the free industry associations, chatting with a guest speaker after class, or attending a speaker series lecture, there are so many opportunities to network in this program. Take advantage of them; the professors and students put on these events to benefit you.
Looking back on this semester, I truly feel a great sense of accomplishment. From organizing the program’s annual social media conference, Talk is Cheap, to participating in a client briefing, I am immensely proud of my work this semester. I think my classmates are all proud too. I’m sure we all wanted to give up at one point this semester, but we all pushed through. With every class and assignment, we all began to realize how valuable these skills are in the professional world. As this semester comes to an end, I can definitely say that I made the right choice in choosing Centennial and this program. We are all going to be going out into the world in a few short months, and I know I’ll have the skills, experience and confidence to succeed in the PR world.