Skip to main content
OLC Writer

empty
3 women guest speaker in front of an audience
Credit
pexels.com

The early-winter chill slowly melted away as I stepped into the intimate atmosphere of Ceili’s Irish Pub & Restaurant in downtown Vancouver: a perfect backdrop for the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) event “Starting a Career in Communications”. The evening featured a panel of four communication professionals who shared their personal journeys toward a career in communications. The panel included: Keiko Cooper, Corporate Affairs Specialist for Labatt Breweries of Canada; Karin Basaraba, Communications Specialist with Community Living British Columbia; Niela Melanio, Corporate Communications Assistant, BCAA; and Alex Vondette, Account Manager atHoggan.

Ceili’s second-floor was already bustling with activity as I registered and fastened the nametag proudly displaying my student status. At the first IABC social event I attended, I was taken aback at how welcoming and inclusive everyone was - this time was no different. The 50 guests in attendance perfectly exemplified the warmth and casual diversity that is IABC, including a mix of students, new grads, seasoned communicators and those currently seeking new opportunities.

As a student member nearing graduation, I was reassured to learn that there isn’t a set path in defining one’s particular field of interest within communications. Keiko Cooper emphasized how her experiences throughSFU’s Communication Co-op program allowed her to gain the relevant skills and contacts essential to starting her career. On the flip side, Karin Basaraba described how several years working on a cruise ship was a key turning point in realizing her interest in the field of communications.

Key advice offered by the panellists included:

  • Seek volunteer or internship opportunities as a way to develop communications skills and experience.

  • Arrange informational interviews with seasoned communications professionals to learn more about the industry and to build your network.

  • Make your own business cards, even if you are still a student, so that you can share your contact information with potential job leads.

  • Overcome networking jitters by asking a lot of questions.

I left the evening’s event inspired and I’m eager to apply all that I have learned from the speakers. More importantly, I was relieved knowing that I have the support of IABC to help me as I continue my own journey toward a career in communications.

Beyond the Blog

  • To learn more about IABC and upcoming events, or to become a member, visit the BC Chapter website: www.iabc.bc.ca.

  • Make an appointment with your program advisor to find out which professional association best suits your career goals.

OLC Writer

You Might Like These... Prospective, Professional Development, Career Exploration

Co-op students jumping in the air
The Co-op Connection Helps Retention

In this blog post, Heather shares with us why co-op is an important experience for all students, whether it be to further career aspirations or to gain future employment opportunities. 

author, courtney, smiling
A Second Term in Government: More of the Same?

Having completed my first work term for Health Canada as a Communications Officer Intern, I was eager to try something new, and the government was not where I believed that was going to happen. That is until I was offered a position at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada...

Working on campus
The 10 Minute Commute – Resources and Useful Information for Working on Campus

Have you ever thought about working in a place that you are familiar with?  Perhaps a Tim Horton’s close by? For many students the idea of working at SFU might be a great option, if you prefer a 10 minute jaunt to work after class or an opportunity to learn more about how a university operates.

You Might Like These... Indigenous

Picture of Beverly
Indigenous Bio: CST Beverly PITAWANAKWAT

Beverly PITAWANAKWAT, an RCMP constable with the First Nations Policing Unit for the community of Chehalis, she shares her career story, and offers advice and requirements for Aboriginal youth hoping to join the RCMP.

A photo of the author and friends on a hike
Looking for Culture in Catalonia, Spain: Expectation Versus Reality

Going to Spain for co-op, I felt I would be immersed in a single culture. Read on to discover how this opportunity allowed me to develop a more intricate understanding of culture, communities, and families and to build lifelong friendships and family-like relationships across linguistic and cultural barriers.

Image of Author. He is smiling at the camera. He is wearing a white T-shirt and holding a cup of drink.
Working in Product Development: Consumer vs Industrial

Ever wondered what makes the difference between a consumer-level product and an industrial one? Read on and find out some of the key differences that make industrial level products stand out in reliability.