Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Week in the Life of a Mohawk PR Student

By: Michael Cordeiro

When I first registered for Mohawk College’s Public Relations Graduate Certificate Program, I  truly did not know what to expect. I knew I was going to be in a classroom environment, yet I was still unsure as to how it would differ from a university lecture setting. For all those prospective students who are reading this, I want you to know that being a little nervous is normal and any fears you may have will quickly fade away as soon as you start the program. My goal of this blog post is to (hopefully) ease any anxiety you have about this program by providing a broad overview of how a school week unfolds. I decided to focus on what happened from October 15-17 mainly because it is a busy week in the middle of the semester.

One of the major benefits of Mohawk’s PR program is that it is only three days a week! So unlike most students, our school week begins on a Tuesday, which gives you a nice four day weekend and plenty of time to finish your assignments and other personal commitments.

Tuesday afternoon is our first class and it’s the exciting PR Communications class. In this class we learned ways in which social media can be utilized effectively in business. It is very interesting to see how the social media platforms that we take for granted every day, like Facebook and Twitter, can be used in public relations.

Our second class on Tuesday, Program Planning, focused on how companies build good community relations. I particularly found this lecture very informative because it highlighted how companies need to give back to the community. Although PR practitioners are sometimes painted negatively in the media, this lecture helps denounces those assumptions and proves that PR is a career that assists those who are vulnerable in a community. 

Wednesday morning we experienced another great benefit of the program – guest speakers. Every once and a while we are given the privilege of having a guest speaker talk to us about their experiences in PR. Many of these speakers are past Mohawk PR students. I think it is fantastic to see former students (who were once sitting in the same seat that I am sitting in now) become successful in the PR industry. It really reassures me that I made an excellent choice choosing to attend Mohawk.

Admittedly, the school days are long and you are probably wondering where you can go on your breaks. Fortunately for PR students, we have access to The Agency. It is a space where we can converse with friends and clients about projects we are working on. It really has become a second home for me.

In our PR Writing class, we began analyzing brochures. As PR practitioners, we are going to be creating brochures at some point in our careers, so that is why I found this class very informative. I really love how this program teaches you things that you will actually use in the real world. 

Thursday morning is our Organizational Application class, and it was a fun class this week! We separated into groups and debated the pros and cons of a company’s corporate social responsibility model. I was on team pro-WalMart. Although there are negative perceptions about WalMart, I enjoyed researching and discussing all the great things WalMart actually does for its employees, the community, and the environment. You really do learn something new every day in this program!

Speaking of learning something new, Thursday afternoon is our Print Design and Application class and we learned how to make a colour wheel using Adobe Illustrator. Although the Adobe programs seem intimidating at first, our professor does an excellent job of easing us into these programs.

Our last class of the week is Media Relations. This week we learned how to make a media list. This is a task that every PR practitioner must perform, and I’m glad that we receive great direction on how to make one.

I hope this blog post helped answer some questions about what a week is like as a PR student at Mohawk. Remember that just like in the real world, every week in this program is different - it’s exciting, challenging, yet also really enjoyable!

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