[By Justine Newcombe]

Kate Carlson is a 2014 graduate of the Sheridan Public Relations and Corporate Communications program. During her time at Sheridan, Kate received the opportunity to intern for Trillium Health Partners, which kick started her career in the industry. Kate took the time out of her busy schedule to provide insight for those who are looking to launch their career in the PR field.

What was your educational and work experience prior to the PRCC program?

Initially, I went to Sheridan for their Early Childhood Education (ECE) program, with the intent of bridging into a Ryerson degree. My goal was to become a child life specialist. After completing the ECE program, I was not entirely sure if this was the path I wanted to embark on. I completely switched gears and began the Performing Musical Theatre program at Humber. I then entered the Sheridan PRCC program in 2013. I had limited to no experience in public relations, with some informal experience assisting with communications while working as an ECE assistant director. It was a long winding road, but it led me to Sheridan, and now to the career that I love.

Can you talk about your internship?

It is thanks to the mock-interview process at Sheridan that I was able to obtain my internship, and later full-time career at Trillium Health Partners. The program director in 2013 invited former graduates of the program, and other PR professionals in for mock-interviews. I was lucky enough to interview with the Director of Community Relations at the Trillium Foundation, and gain my five-week internship. After my placement was complete, a position had opened up. I applied, and was awarded the job. Since being hired full-time, my role has developed more towards internal communications. That being said, my day-to-day is constantly changing. You really need to be a jack of all trades.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the PR industry?

Don’t get discouraged, you will learn as you go. People want to see you succeed, and as long as you are willing to put in the work, they will be willing to teach you. It’s a busy field, do what you can to save time. If a process works, you don’t need to “re-invent the wheel.” Stick with it –  recycle, edit, and revamp what you can.

(Photo via Kate Carlson)