By Allison Hopkins
As I head into my final term at Mount Saint Vincent University, I’ve had some time to reflect on my co-op experience as a public relations student – most recently at The PR Hive. In high school, I applied to the PR program on a whim – and one week later, I was accepted. As I prepared to move from Newfoundland to a new province all by myself, I was nervous to leave my family for the first time but was most nervous about the fact that I didn’t have PR experience and wondered, what if I don’t like it?
Luckily for me, all MSVU PR students complete three work term placements during the program, so I had time to figure all that out. As it turns out, being a co-op student has been the highlight of my student career. I’ve had the chance to complete my work terms in three vastly different sectors, each introducing me to different areas of PR that helped me realize I had chosen the right career path.
Co-op placements have given me the opportunity to take what I’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to real-life scenarios, and to witness how the work we do in PR impacts real stakeholders.
I’ve also had the chance to learn new skills that weren’t covered in my classes – from the basics of the Adobe suite to editing websites – I’ve learned things I never imagined I would. And the best part? These co-op placements have expanded my interests: after my work term at The PR Hive, I can confidently say that I’m a news junkie.
The most valuable things I’ve taken away from each work term are the relationships I’ve built. Meeting and working with seasoned PR professionals has helped me discover the different paths PR can take me, and has allowed me to make great connections, and friendships too.
I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to take part in each placement and am especially thankful to round out my experience at The PR Hive. Working here has given me a taste for agency, and working with a variety of clients has helped me learn more than what’s possible in a classroom setting alone.
Looking back at my co-op placements, I realize I’ve learned the value of saying yes to new opportunities and gained a greater understanding of what my future in PR can look like. If I could go back and talk to that high school student wondering, what if I don’t like it? I’d say, you just wait.