Coming into this program, I had no idea what to expect. I left Brock University after only three years because I was craving to do some more with my life. I needed something more challenging and exciting. Brock couldn’t offer me what I wanted and that’s when I stumbled upon Centennial College. After exploring the various programs, I knew corporate communications and public relations was the one for me. I took a leap of faith and declared to Brock I was graduating despite my parent’s concerns. Leaving a school I had invested three years of my life into was terrifying, but after one semester here, I am confident that it was the smartest decision I have ever made.
I remember my first day at Centennial being so overwhelming. I was intimidated by how much older everyone was compared to me. This program has been intense but very beneficial. I have learned more here than during my entire three years at Brock. All these new terms and what seemed like an entire new language was flooding my mind. It wasn’t until the agency presentation day that I knew what I wanted to do.
Hearing the presentations from Apex and Kaiser Lachance really spoke to me. The reason why I get so bored is because I am never challenged enough. In all my part-time jobs, and a Brock, I was bored. Hearing descriptions of the agency life turned a light bulb on in my brain. Some people might think I’m crazy for saying this, but I like a little chaos every now and again. I want to be challenged and have something new in front of me every day. I know I’m young but that is what is so wonderful. My mind is still so fresh and open to training. I might not have years and years of experience, but I do have the drive and the willingness it takes to work in an agency environment.
This program hasn’t just taught me things, it has shaped me. All my friends at Brock are still in their partying and careless phase. I want something more. Looking at their Facebook pages and Twitter pages shocks me now. I realize how detrimental these portals can be to securing a job or a field placement. What you say over the internet is permanent. Once it’s out there, you can’t take it back. Leaning more about the social media platforms I thought I was a genius at has been very beneficial.
As a communicator, I’ve learned that I need to be more vocal with my ideas and thoughts. David Kaiser made me realize this when he said “there is no such thing as a stupid idea”. I know I’m young and I feel like that sometimes stop me from contributing ideas in fear that they will sound immature or silly. This has been my biggest challenge. I’m not scared compete with other people, but I am terrified to compete with myself. I often shut down my own ideas before anyone else even gets a chance to hear them. I need to stop this and have more faith in myself. The program and all of the teachers have helped me realize this.
I have always been good working in groups but this course has really taught me how to deal with clashing personalities. Doug’s “yes and” strategy has come in handy more times than I thought possible. I’ve learned to try and mirror how my group members are feeling so we are all on the same page. At times, this has been challenging but I just tell myself to chalk it up to experience. Learning how to deal with different personalities can be challenging but in public relations it is very important.
This course has truly changed my outlook on things. When I read the news now, I’m not just reading it from an audience’s perspective. I am questioning what I read and challenging the methods they chose. I am constantly criticizing headlines and choice of words. I often find myself wondering how the company handled this issue or what went on behind the scenes. I am not just a naive reader anymore.
I know this sounds corny, but this program has helped me grow up. I’m slowly gaining more confidence in myself and am finding what I have a passion for. At Brock, I was simply just getting through my assignments. At Centennial, I am learning from them and appreciating them. I’m not just completing and essay for the sake of getting a good mark. I am learning real life lessons as I go. I have never felt so anxious and excited about school in my life. I know I am on the right path and I have only positive thoughts when I think about my future. I have found something I enjoy and not many people can say that at the ripe age of 21.