By Loyalist College Business graduate and PR post-graduate Public Relations student Mariah Brough
For as long as I can remember, my family has stressed the importance of a college education. When I turned 14 my grandmother gave me a university bear, hinting at what she thought was best for my future. The idea of going to college scared me. I had always struggled in school, and I was worried about the stress of large classes and hours of lectures.
When it came time to apply for school, I knew that university wouldn’t be a good fit for me. I started to look at colleges within a two-hour distance from home. I booked a tour at Loyalist, and right away I knew that this was where I wanted to go. I loved the Loyalist atmosphere, the small class sizes, and the fact that the tour guide couldn’t walk from one class to another without seeing a familiar face. That fall I began my first class in the Business program.
My two years in Business taught me many new skills and allowed me to discover what my interests are in the business world. I had the opportunity to meet new people and really work on my confidence. Public speaking was once a nightmare for me, but after giving presentations in front of supportive classmates and faculty, it became something I volunteered to take on in group assignments. I felt at ease in the classroom, and enjoyed getting to know my teachers and learning from their experiences in the business world. Our classroom atmosphere was incredible, and I was never afraid to ask a question or contribute to discussions.
The day I graduated was one of the happiest days of my life. Sharing my accomplishment with my friends from the program was amazing. But almost immediately I had to face another challenge: where I would go next? I was full of knowledge from my studies, and I was ready to work! But where? A diploma in Business opens so many doors, I wasn’t quite sure what field I wanted to pursue. I did some research and spoke to one of my teachers, who recommended that I focus on what I enjoyed most during the two-year program. Entrepreneurship, business management and human resources were interesting, but what I enjoyed most were customer relations, marketing and social media. My professor recommended that I look into the Public Relations post-graduate program, and I liked what I saw.
Public Relations offers my favourite subjects in the Business program, and more. As a post-graduate Public Relations student, I now have the opportunity to further develop my communication skills and learn about emerging social media tools. The classes are small and focus on hands-on learning, which is perfect for me. My interest and education in business will be a great foundation for working in public and media relations. I will also have the opportunity to gain experience on the job during a four-week field placement, helping me start my career. I was really excited to return to Loyalist this fall for another great year.