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It has been just under a year since I began studying public relations – what started it all was a conversation with a co-worker about career choices and she mentioned she thought it would be a good fit for me. The more research I did the more I thought she may be right. I discussed my original perceptions and misconceptions of what I thought the essence of PR was in an earlier blog entry, and (hopefully) I have come a long way since then.
Originally what interested me the most was persuading an audience. To be perfectly honest I find it quite amazing to discover that I have changed someone’s mind on a topic after a debate or discussion. Beyond that, I still find it quite fascinating to think about how delicate and malleable our perceptions are. After taking a few courses I discovered the aspect of PR that interests me the most is that no two PR campaigns are ever the same. There are obviously many with similarities, but there will always be differences. This presents a huge advantage because you enter every new campaign with fresh eyes, but great past experience. PR campaigns aren’t the only things that change - communication channels and mediums do, too. There will be endless opportunities for learning and growing as a PR professional, complacency will never be an option, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Studying PR has really given me the ability to compartmentalize the art of persuasion. There is a formal and logical process in shifting something as intangible as an opinion. This will be invaluable in my career path as it’s a foundational skill. Taking the few courses I have so far have really helped to polish my natural abilities (research, objectivity, distancing myself from delicate issues to discuss them, writing and speaking) and I look forward to the next year of studies ahead. At that time I may discover a new aspect that interests me more.
The majority of the students in our class (as in 23 of 25) are full-time students and will be receiving their PR Diploma from the University of Winnipeg within a few weeks. It has been such a pleasure meeting them, I wish them the best in their future endeavors and hope our career paths cross in the future.