Helping Students Go Global

On an unseasonably cold Thursday evening for February, I was honoured to be Master for Ceremony for the second annual CPRS-VI Public Relations Career Fair and Mingle. I watched with fascination as over 50 students from Camosun College, Royal Roads University and the University of Victoria filed in, eager to glean from the wealth of experience from the senior public relations practitioners in the room.

Fun fact! Camosun College, a long-time active supporter of CPRS-VI, sponsored an entire class of Bachelor of Business Administration students.

The event, held at Camosun's Interurban campus, aimed to help students succeed in today’s global environment, whether at home or abroad.

As an immigrant myself, I realize how valuable these skills are to thrive in unfamiliar environments. I was happy to share my personal experience integrating into a new society.

The students listened and thoughtfully engaged the expert panel: Brian Cant, Iris Mueller, Doug Brown and Sue Brown.

  • Brian, a senior manager with an international public relations agency, spoke on the specific skill sets required to relate with international media clients and to forge lasting, mutually beneficial relationships in international partnerships.

  • Iris, who first came to Victoria as an international student, shared stories about how she had to improve her competence and build new skills to integrate into the Canadian workforce.

  • Doug, who worked with some of the biggest global communications firms, spoke on some of the similarities and differences in his experience working locally and internationally.

  • Sue, an employment facilitator at Camosun College who specializes in helping students pursue international opportunities, spoke on the requirements and skills necessary to secure career opportunities with international employers.

There were also insights and stories coming from the audience itself – from international students studying in Canada to domestic students who already had international work experience. From the panel and from the floor, the event provided considerable food for thought.

The Career Fair and Mingle was also rich with opportunity, with Graham Curry APR, Jonathon Dyck APR, Michelle Harris APR and our president, Peggy Kulmala APR present to provide students opportunities to connect with employers.

“The Career Fair provided an excellent opportunity for communications and marketing students to learn from and connect with senior practitioners,” said Michelle, the City of Victoria's Strategic Planning and Communications Advisor. “Networking is key to career development.”

“It’s really rewarding to organize this annual event as it brings together senior communications professionals and junior practitioners,” said Marina Jaffey, event organizer and Camosun marketing instructor. “We had a great location for the event, thanks to the on-going relationship with the staff, students and faculty at Camosun College.”

By Ruth Mojeed

Special thanks to all event volunteers, including CPRS-VI member Elana Ilott, our photographer for the evening. Check out her photographs on FlickR here

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