Speaking to a group of aspiring PR professionals, it would have been easy to resort to grand statements about how to create a successful career. But the three speakers at the CPRS Vancouver’s So You Wanna Be A Communications Professional event on September 26 were able to convey key points that were both attainable and motivating.
Collectively, the message from So You Wanna Be a Communications Professional was clear. Above all else, know who you are and care about what you do.
Vance Ng , Online Community Manager, lululemon athletica
Ng left the path that was chosen for him, medicine at UBC, to pursue marketing at BCIT. At BCIT, his projects focused one of his passions, the Olympic Games. As a result of his projects, he landed a job at 2010 Legacies Now, a not-for-profit that leveraged the Olympic Games to create legacies throughout BC, and after that, a job with the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). Having a vision and working hard has guided Ng up until his current role at lululemon athletica.
General career advice: Trust your gut. Be dangerous. Live your dream.
Specific: Develop 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years goal plans.
Marcelo Dominguez, Communications Specialist, Canadian Blood Services
Dominquez’ passion for the not-for-profit sector is obvious, not only for his own work at the Canadian Blood Services but also for the experience the sector provides. Dominquez illustrated the opportunities in the field, including becoming a jack-of-all trades, relying on your own initiative and constantly being on a learning curve.
General career advice: Your identity and what you do off-hours needs to fit with your work – this builds credibility.
Specific: Build your portfolio from the get-go.
Ivan Giesbrecht, Communications Manager, Enbridge Pipelines
Giesbrecht has had a varied career - managing media relations in war-zones, working for a PR agency in Qatar, and his present role, working as Communications Manager for the controversial Enbridge Pipeline project. Giesbrecht emphasized that he does not believe in having a dream job, but in being flexible and open-minded as our priorities and goals change. Giesbrecht is an advocate of thinking out-of-the-box, taking opportunities and going beyond your comfort zone, as it could lead to something amazing.
General career advice: Be fearless.
Specific: Be a good writer.