[By Nikk Kadbet]

Thirty-three weeks. Thirty-two students. Fourteen courses. Eight months. Seven teachers. Two semesters. One big family.

From 32 students cramming awkwardly to get a glimpse of program coordinator Nathan Mallett’s office in September to six groups filming powerful videos raising awareness about mental health in April, Sheridan College’s Public Relations-Corporate Communications (PRCC) Class of 2017 has been through it all.

What a time to be alive
There has, arguably, never been a better or more exciting time to be in the field of PR than right now. For organizations today, image is everything and PR decisions can make-or-break a company. PRCC understands this and consequently, considers communications an art form. In stark contrast to the undergraduate degrees pursued by students prior to enrolling in the program, PRCC provides a hands-on experience reminiscent of the daily schedules of current PR professionals.

Keep the PRCC family close
The past eight months have conjured up a multitude of surveys, communications plans, research reports, interviews, writing and design-oriented projects, group activities, Learning Commons sessions, field trips and afternoons at The Marquee. Each project along the way has sharpened the PR toolkit of students to prepare them for their professional futures. Given the students’ shared ambition to carve out careers in PR and communications and the exclusivity of this industry, there lies strong potential for students to continue to foster the close bonds they have formed with one another.

Keep your PRCC family close as these connections could evolve into professional relationships as collaborators and colleagues in the future. This may just be the beginning.

Views from the other side
Central to the sheer quality of student work is the highly influential roles the teachers have played throughout the academic year. The graduating class was graced with seven teachers who each brought a wide variety of experience and knowledge to the classroom. From planning events, running a newspaper and crafting key messages during a crisis to running a parenting blog, being a spokesperson and communicating internally, each teacher enriched students’ learning with invaluable views from the other side of the table.

Two birds, one stone
After 33 long weeks of learning, presenting and mastering multiple facets of their skills, students end the program at an onsite job placement of their choice for a minimum of five weeks. The opportunity for students to find their own placements will see students intern at a range of organizations delving in everything from government, education and tourism PR to police, sports and global PR. Here, students’ skill sets and ability to slot into the workplace will come under the spotlight but odds are that their PRCC-driven portfolio and work ethic will render them just fine. The hope is that these internships will become stepping stones to long and successful careers in the world of PR and communications.

For students, April 20 marks the end of a rewarding and enriching chapter and the beginning of a new and exciting one – all part of their PR journeys. From being nominated for prestigious awards to landing dream internships, the Class of 2017 is testament to the success of the PRCC program. The past eight months may have flown by but the knowledge and memories we, as students, have gained at 1430 Trafalgar Road will live long in our memories.

Christmas ’16 (Source: J. Hartman)

(Featured photo by Nathan Mallett)