“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
Oh, the places you’ll go with a career in communications! On March 30, IABC mentors and mentees gathered at Remedy Café to discover the various directions a career in communication can take you.
There was a diverse group of communication experts that shared their insights with the attendees about the numerous career paths available in communications.
Leila Daoud (Dynamite Public Relations) talked about her experience in crisis communications with the Canadian Red Cross. She emphasized an important component of being prepared for a crisis: having a crisis communications plan in place and to make sure that plan is consistently updated even when there is no crisis occurring.
Crystal McPhee (Urban Video) shared with the group how her experience working on the client side not only helped her identify there was a need in the industry for video production, but it also helped her develop a better understanding of clients’ needs. Her experience and knowledge on the client side help her understand what her clients are looking to achieve in a project.
Ronald A. Kustra (Legacy Public Affairs) expressed the importance of networking. He also made the point to treat everyone one with respect, including the receptionist and secretaries you encounter, as they can be the gatekeepers to the information you need. Interested in what it’s like to work in politics? He shared that it’s very similar to the television series, House of Cards minus the gory parts.
Marvin Polis (Stimulant Strategies) shared how his experience working on the client side for ATB and TELUS turned into some of the clients for his communications consulting business. He highlighted the benefits of being an IABC member, such as the professional development events and the numerous networking opportunities. All of his business comes from referrals, and being an IABC member has helped him grow his network.
Maya Filipovic (City of Edmonton) elaborated on the many communication departments you can work in for the City of Edmonton, including Sustainable Development and Transportation Services. She noted that IABC Edmonton’s jobline showcases all the available communication opportunities with the City of Edmonton.
Geoff Grimble (DDB) shared what advertising agency life is like day-to-day. He discussed the different departments in an agency such as account services, creative, media buying, production, and more. He also talked about how each of our current roles can apply to a career in an agency setting. If agency life is something that interests you, he suggests networking and reaching out to someone who works in an agency and seeing if you can intern or volunteer your time with them.
Linda Wilkinson (Anvaya Communications) spoke about how networking helped grow her business as a freelance writer. If you are thinking of freelancing, she suggests taking the time to think about how you are going to market yourself to your potential clients. Linda advised that it’s easier to market yourself locally as you have less international competition. If you are looking to land clients, she encourages you to be confident and clearly showcase to them that you are the right person for the job.
Be sure to check out Linda Wilkinson's blog post sharing her first-hand experience with Paths speed networking and how it delivers results.
Sabrina Licata is a Marketing Coordinator for Oilers Entertainment Group. She is currently pursuing a Public Relations diploma through The University of Victoria and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing degree from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, sports and entertainment events, volunteering, and traveling.