Why should I join IABC? I find that’s a question often asked amongst students in the public relations program at MacEwan University. To help with that decision, I felt it best to write this blog for other students or even professional communicators that are debating joining the organization. IABC stands for the International Association of Business Communicators. It is a professional organization with many membership perks for its members! What are these perks, you ask? Keep reading and you’ll find out.
- Network, network, network
You get to meet and network with some exciting new people in your industry. Through IABC, you learn from communicators in different fields, the roles they hold and hear about their experiences. IABC often holds mixers and events, allowing members to meet other professionals, pick their brains, gain access to important and valuable new resources, and most importantly, have fun!
- Keep up with the times.
IABC offers many opportunities to learn something new. I recently partook in a free digital security event where three knowledgeable panel members spoke about their experience. By working with other communicators while still being a student, I was able to gain more confidence and grow my skills. IABC offers a variety of educational events throughout the year, which is great because you can choose to attend an event that best works for your schedule, while working with other professionals in your field, you are able to learn about and stay up to date on industry trends.
Another incredible perk of IABC is that there are development courses available for recent graduates, as well as long-time professionals. Additionally, through the IABC Academy, you can work towards your CMP (Communication Management Professional) or the SCMP (Strategic Communication Management Professional). Interested in learning more? Visit the IABC Edmonton Chapter Certification Page.
- Improve your writing!
As a student, I wanted to work on my writing but wasn’t sure where to start. I knew that I wanted practice outside the realm of essay writing to broaden my experience. Then I learned that IABC offers volunteer blogging opportunities which were right up my alley. Not only does this allow me to work on my writing, but it also gets me some published material – and mentorship from the IABC Director of Content. If you don’t enjoy blogging but are looking for volunteer experience no problem! There are a ton of different volunteer opportunities available through IABC.
- Work with a mentor
Through IABC, you, have a great deal of access to experienced professionals willing and eager to help you grow as a communicator and as a person. Every year, a great group of mentors sign up to help young padawans like me learn and grow. Whether the focus is on career-building tips like fixing your resume or cover letter, or FINALLY understanding CP Style – your mentor is there to support you through your journey into the exciting world of communications and public relations (big shout out to my fantastic mentor, Crystal)!
- Find a new gig!
IABC posts job listings for organizations looking for communicators to join their professional families. The IABC Jobline offers positions that could take you anywhere in the world! For more information, check out IABC Jobline!
So, why join IABC?
IABC has been nothing short of a valuable, exciting experience throughout my learning path. The mountain of resources available to me helped me to improve myself, not only as a writer but also in other professional ways. Whatever your reason for wanting to join IABC, we look forward to meeting you! Don’t hesitate, click the link to learn more IABC Edmonton Chapter
By Christina Le Breton