Written by Alison Kinghorn, 2013 Public Relations graduate
So now that you’ve graduated from college or university, what are you going to do next? Young adults are all too accustomed to facing this question, and for many it’s a difficult one to answer. Since Convocation in June, graduates have been making the transition from post-secondary education to the working world.
At Loyalist College, many programs help to pave the career path through placement opportunities, which allow students to apply their newly acquired skills and knowledge in the workplace.
Michelle Alexander, a 2012 graduate of the Advertising program at Loyalist, made the leap from student to full-time employee during the final semester of her in-class studies. When she started her job as a Graphic Designer for Mystic Sign Design in Cobourg, she was already working in the role during a field placement.
The Advertising program at Loyalist uses innovative student projects and case studies to develop creative thinking, strategic problem-solving skills, and the ability to execute campaigns. It prepares students to work in the industry by providing various workplace visits, guest speakers, and industry networking opportunities. Graduates can pursue job opportunities in large or small advertising and marketing communications agencies, the publishing or broadcast industry, as well as sales, event promotion, and research.
With an interest in working close to home, Michelle saw Mystic Sign Design as the right fit for her. A locally owned business in Cobourg, Mystic offers a wide range of services including business cards, print advertising design, outdoor signage, custom fabric printing and embroidery, vehicle wraps, and wall art. With the world of marketing communications constantly evolving, companies must be able to adapt and keep up with emerging technologies. Michelle’s fresh perspective and education in the industry’s latest trends made her an asset to the Mystic team.
“My placement offered a great opportunity to test my classroom learning in the real world,” said Michelle. “I got to experience graphic work, client meetings, planning designs, and teamwork.”
Michelle understands that there is a clear benefit to seeking out the best placement opportunities. By putting an effort into finding a position she loved, she was able to continue growing with the company after her placement ended.
“Finding the right placement is an investment in your future,” said Michelle. “Don’t leave your field placement search until the last minute, and don’t settle.”
Michelle is in the process of moving to Kincardine, Ontario. As she leaves Mystic and begins the job search again, she is hopeful.
“The experiences I have gained outside of the classroom have given me the opportunity to succeed face-to-face with clients, and build on my portfolio for future work.”
For information on the new two-year Advertising and Marketing Communications Ontario College Diploma program, please call 613-969-1913 ext. 2204.