[By Tayjua Squire]

Thanks to Emily MacKenzie, public relations and philanthropy professor, Sheridan’s PRCC students had the opportunity to attend a non-profit meet-and-greet last month.

The communications teams from Food for Life Halton, Home Suite Hope, Oakville Community Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Halton, Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides, YMCA of Oakville, Acclaim Health and United Way Oakville came to Sheridan College to network with students. Each organization’s communications representative came with expertise in non-profit communications and a strong working knowledge of the PR industry to share with the young professionals.

The informative conversations that took place that morning provided the class with new connections, an understanding of the role of PR in the non-profit industry as well as invaluable networking practice. Students also had the opportunity to introduce ourselves to key industry players in local non-profit organizations. Each communications representative gave a brief description of their organization and what their role as a professional communicator entails.

Individual chats allowed students to ask for career advice from seasoned PR professionals. A few of the non-profit organizations even brought communications internship opportunities to the table, and many came with open volunteer positions to which students could apply.

To everyone’s delight, Sarah Miller, communications manager at Lions Foundation of Canada Guide Dogs, brought Audio, an adorable nine-week old yellow Labrador retriever (pictured above). After all, dogs help humans reduce stress, therefore pet therapy is crucial for academic success.

Making connections and building relationships are key to success in the PR and corporate communications fields. The value of the post-graduate PRCC program at Sheridan College is reflective in the efforts of the professors to incorporate networking with outside organizations into the curriculum.

(Photo by Alex Horvat-Becevello)