Recently I was asked to visit my alma mater, Mohawk College, to talk to the Public Relations Graduate students. Flashback to five years ago: mock media interviews, client projects, learning to write a media release – these students were living the life that I was back in 2007. Tim Tuck, Program Coordinator and Professor, asked me to speak generally about my career path since graduating from the post-graduate program, to help give the students some inspiration as they work though their challenging workload.
Inspiration? Me? What could I tell these students that would guide them? But understanding that they needed to hear from someone formerly in their shoes, I gladly accepted. Besides, how often do you get to talk about yourself for an hour?
As I spoke, I realized that maybe I was giving these students something after all – a living example of someone who had recently taken the certificate they are working toward and used it to land a job in the field. But in turn, they were also giving something back to me.
I was standing before my future colleagues – with eager ears and bright minds, they listened, asked insightful questions and sought advice. But they are also learning in the context of a new world, evolved from just a half a decade ago. A world of instantaneous social communication, which is critical to the PR profession. And, have you seen the college lately? They have a PR agency built into their learning environment and new technologies at their finger tips. It’s enough to make me want to go back to school and enough to let me realize that these students could teach me a thing or two.
My visit came on the eve of starting a new job: I was making a career move to become the Manager of Communications for a small but influential non-profit. For some reason, this visit to my pseudo past felt right. I realized how important each step in my journey had been – and it started at Mohawk.
As Mohawk continues to produce high quality, educated and successful grads, the college continues to validate your credentials earned years ago. So, my recommendations for fellow alumni:
- Take time to give advice to current Mohawk students – what steps did you take to land your career?
- Connect with fellow alum, past faculty and current students on LinkedIn.You never know where your networks will take you.
- Invite students do informational interviews with you – don’t underestimate how helpful you may be to them, or how helpful they could be to you.
– Krista Murray
Public Relations, ’08
Follow Krista @krista_murray