Even if you have strong ties with Mohawk College as an alumnus, it’s possible you haven’t been on campus in years. Perhaps you remember the old fashioned lockers, basic desks (and don’t forget the Arnie).
However, if you haven’t been to the Fennell campus lately, I urge you to find an excuse to visit. Renovations have collided with innovation and progression. I am talking about jaw-dropping, stunning facilities that make me want to return to school.
The college is undergoing a Campus Renewal Project, the largest renovation in Mohawk’s history. The project includes a recreation centre and a technology-studded “collaboratory.” Though, one of the most impressive updates for a PR alumnus like myself is a new space, and tool, built into the Public Relations program.
As a Mohawk student, I was at the College for only one year before graduating from my post graduate program. Further, I was stationed at the Brantford Odeon campus. A fantastic curriculum and faculty ensured that I graduated with a top notch education. But today’s Mohawk Public Relations students, five years later, have a further edge. Now stationed at Mohawk’s Fennell campus, they are benefiting from a progressive environment with a new facility called “The Agency.”
The Agency is an integrated initiative between Mohawk’s Public Relations, Marketing, Advertising and Event Management programs. Tim Tuck, Professor and Program Coordinator for Mohawk’s PR Program, tells me that from concept to construction, The Agency was three years in the making. It was proposed as space that would mimic the look and feel of a real creative agency to provide students with a collaborative and experiential learning environment.
As construction began in 2011, the concept also evolved. The Agency would function as a full service, in house organization that would take on real non-profit clients for students to serve. Students are not paid, and agencies are not charged: the initiative is a win-win where students get hands-on experience as part of their program and the college is able to offer goodwill to the community. This year marked the inaugural opening of The Agency.
The College brought in Joe Duda, one of the founders of of OKD Marketing (a “real-world” agency that I’ve worked with and recommend), as a coordinator for The Agency, acting as a liaison between the students and their clients. With support from other programs, including Broadcasting – Television and Communications Media and Graphic Design, students from the four core programs who staff The Agency, take on up to 12 clients in a school year between them. Recently, for example, Battlefield House Museum received a commemorative booklet for Stoney Creek’s bicentennial with copy written by Mohawk’s PR students and layout done by Graphic Design students.
This approach to learning gives students a new layer of experience that tops the value that their internships may even provide. As an alumnus, this is significant because Mohawk’s investment in students continues to add value to our credentials earned at the college, and prepares today’s students to be our future colleagues.
– Krista Murray
Public Relations, ’08
Follow Krista @krista_murray