Forget university, CCPR is the real deal

By Chris Wai, Class of 2016

What can I say about the last 2 semesters here at Centennial College? To keep it short, simply rewarding! The Corporate Communications and Public Relations program (#CCPR) is exactly the type of experience that I wanted when I applied for this one-year post-graduate certificate.

The Story Arts Campus, where our classes take place is a small, yet tight-knit community. With mainly arts and media-type programs here, we get unique opportunities to work and interact with students and faculty throughout the campus, which is fantastic. Our professors are very approachable and well connected within the industry which is evident by the number of influential guest speakers that they bring to class. They make CCPR a legitimate place to engage with industry professionals as we develop our own skills in public relations.

We learned about the business applications of social media, writing professionally with the Canadian Press style, crafting resumes, interviewing, news releases, event management and the principles of business. From the networking opportunities, constant group work and real-world assignments, everything is done with practical experience in mind.

Two of the highlights of first semester involved preparing a business plan for PR firm, Kaiser Lachance and planning a special fundraising event with a zero dollar budget.

The thought of preparing a business plan was foreign for almost everyone in our class. But through the support of our professor, Jen McIlroy, we were able to gain valuable experience by doing a client briefing which helped prepare us for this task. From reporting on financials, marketing communications, business operations to actually presenting our findings and recommendations to a real client, it was a nerve-wracking but invaluable experience!

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My favourite part of the first semester was the special event that we organized as part of our event management class. This project really showed what all of us were capable of. From contacting sponsors, communicating with our respective charities, media relations and publicity, our events brought out the best in everyone. Of course, there were challenges as well, from learning how to work with our group members effectively, to meeting deadlines and worrying about the execution of the event. But at the end of the day, each group exceeded all expectations and as a class, we managed to raise over $10, 000 for our charities and a lot of goodwill in the process! Receiving excellent feedback from our charitable partners was the icing on the cake!

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From where we started, I feel I am well prepared for a career in communications whether that is with an agency or corporation. From the friendships that have been made, to the connections within the industry, I am confident to say that I will be prepared to face what the PR world will throw at me. Thank you Centennial, from my classmates to all of the faculty. #StartedFromTheBottomNowWeHere

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