We are almost through our first term as PR students in the Graduate Certificate program at Mohawk College. The program is fun, busy and incredibly varied. Above all it’s providing us with invaluable training for our future careers in public relations and communications. But how does a graduate certificate course like PR fit into life when you have to balance an internships, other jobs, family and full-time school? Any prospective student may well ask themselves this question and the simplest answer is that getting the balance right is an integral part of your preparation for a career in public relations and communications.
But the good news is that it is all very manageable.
Firstly, the schedule for the PR Program is only three days a week – Tuesday through Thursday. These are three very full days but it allows Mondays and Fridays to focus on other things like your internship, a job, volunteer work, family commitments or to do homework. From the beginning students in the PR course are encouraged to manage their time wisely and work with classmates to get assignments done and maximise your time.
Secondly, Mohawk College has new requirements for teaching staff to deliver a certain percentage of their lectures online or through a “blended component” of each course. The blended components include online lectures and quizzes and are completed within specific timelines but at the convenience of the student – whether this is at home in your pajamas or via your tablet on the train into work. There are tips that help you manage the eLearn system too!
Finally, the support offered by the instructors and by other students in the class is amazing. Through formal group work as well as informal study sessions, the students in the PR Program help each other out and encourage one another.