Diploma in PR could be what you’ve been looking for!

Hey everyone! My name is Sarah Haddon and I am in my second semester in the Diploma of Public Relations Program. I am the 2012-2013 Student Ambassador for PR, and I will be blogging my experiences so you can all learn more about the benefits of the PR program.

Before I dive right in, I’ll tell you a little about myself. I was born and raised in Corunna, Ontario, which is a small town about an hour and a half from London. Because I am so close to home, I reside at my Corunna home for most weekends and during the week (when I don’t have class that is!). I did my undergrad at Western in Media Information and Technoculture (MIT) and graduated with Honours and even slid onto the Deans List in my last year. I absolutely loved my program, but I began to realize that I needed a more specialized educational path if I wanted to take on a position in the communications/PR world.

So, why the PR Diploma program at Continuing Studies Western University?

Well, like I said, my MIT degree gave me a lot of general education regarding the communications field, but the problem came when I started looking for jobs. A lot of the postings required skills that I did not have, and many suggested post-graduate education as being preferred. When I came across the Diploma for PR program at Continuing Studies, I knew right away it was exactly what I needed. I remember feeling excited while reading the course descriptions and the practicum outline, and right there I knew I needed to apply.

My suggestions during the rest of your undergrad:

1) One thing I wish I took advantage of during my undergrad was the networking opportunities available in London. It is never too early to increase your professional network, and it will be extremely helpful when you start getting into the working world. For those of you who don’t know—and I didn’t know this until getting into the PR program—but there is a professional association called the IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) here in London. The IABC is a perfect place to meet other communications professionals and take part in educational conferences and other fun events. Take a look at the website to learn more about this great opportunity! http://london.iabc.com/about-iabc/

2) Take on an academic internship if your program allows it. In my last semester in my fourth year of MIT, I took on an academic internship at the Alzheimer Society of London Middlesex. I worked as the Communications Assistant to the Manager of Communications and Major Gifts, Leslie Mitchell. I truly recommend trying to take on an internship, as you will gain practical experience that you cannot learn in a textbook.

If any of you have questions about the PR program, or have decided to apply and need help writing your personal letter or help approaching a professor for a reference letter, feel free to contact me! Email: shaddon2@uwo.ca

Next post: Practical application of skills in the real world- not just textbook stuff.

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