Thursday, November 6, 2014

A magical place called Hill + Knowlton

On Wednesday November 5th, the PR class of 2014 took a field trip to Toronto to catch a glimpse of the abyss we call the working world. The first agency we had the pleasure of being allowed into was the well established public relations firm Hill + Knowlton. Upon first entry into the grand high rise at the corner of Bloor and Church, the excited butterflies one might get at a graduation, or before a first date, I experienced here. The beauty of the situation came from how nondescript the company was. Only certain elevators went up to the floor H+K was located on, and when we arrived in the foyer, we were quickly ushered into a glass meeting room reserved for our private presentation *once again cue those darn butterflies*. Along the windowsill stood a table filled with goodies to snack on before lunch and an assortment of drinks. The front of the room boosted a large projector screen and three stools which were quickly filled by the select representatives from the firm. We ushered to take our seats and soon we were asked questions ourselves, "what do you want to know about us" and "what would you want from your future employer" among them.

Each of the representatives took the time to explain their education, past job experience, and the current responsibilities they had with their position in the company. We were encouraged to make decisions with regards to our career path, and life, based on our needs. This is because not every job is right for you, and you're not right for every job. A large portion of those in the public relations sector did not start out looking for that position, but it seemed to be a good fit after exploring their options. Creativity and adaptability were among the frequently mentioned traits for anyone entering into public relations as it is one of the fastest growing industries. H+K believes in ideas that are unconventional and out of the box.

They have a global presence with locations on almost all continents, save for the desolate arctic regions.

What amazed me the most was the love each of the presenters had for their job. Each had a passion, and specific loves for the work they do. One individual worked with Jacobs Creek Moscato, another with TD Canada Trust, but each projected an inspiration that cannot be captured with online chats or text messaging. Thats part of the beauty of public relations after all, there are so many different things you can do, people you can meet, and places you can go, that there is no one job description. A lot of what you do can be tailored to suit your strengths and interests. Although there are guidelines for advancement, there are no set rules. If you work hard and do well, you can move up.

The best way for us students to really understand what agency life is, was to be sitting in that room, able to ask questions and interact with the professionals in the career we are working so hard to achieve. Mohawk College allowed us that opportunity and it reminded me what I'm working for, and where I plan to go.

Check out their website here:

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