Wednesday, October 21, 2015

How an arts degree led to PR

Ever since I stepped foot on McMaster's campus, I always doubted whether I really wanted to be there. I've never been one to enjoy school and always felt like I wanted to just get a job and start building my life, but I knew that if I wanted a comfortable life, I needed to get the school out of the way. The only thing that appealed to me at McMaster was their humanities courses. I love history, anthropology and classics, which is what I studied during the duration of my degree. After graduation, I realized that a degree in arts was not the most appealing degree for employers and I realized that I would indeed have to go back to school for something more practical. The catch was, I didn't want my degree to simply sit on a shelf and collect dust. I wanted it to be useful. I wanted to complete a post-graduate degree that would compliment my arts degree, and that is exactly what public relations does.

Public relations practitioners all have incredibly good communications skills. They write and speak effectively, perform important research and can present themselves well. At McMaster, all I ever did was write or speak. The program was designed to test the students ability to find knowledge and communicate their findings. In an average semester, I would only ever have between 8-10 assignments - all of them being long essays. I remember writing a paper about Cistercian monks thinking, "Well isn't this a complete waste of time. Who the heck cares about what these guys did living in a monastery?" I now realize how important these assignments were. I developed an arsenal of skills that pertain to the public relations industry. Research and communicating are almost second nature for me at this point. Stringing together a bunch of words to create a powerful message is something I believe that I am very good at and I owe my abilities to my experience at McMaster university.

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