Years ago I was modelling at a photo shoot with MTD Products and Gemini Modelling Agency… trimmers, lawn mowers… it was a glamorous shoot! One of the leads at the photo shoot was Stephen Young, the National Marketing Manager at the time for MTD. I was out of school and working but needed to grow my skills and enhance my resume. I got to know Steve better and he found out that after my undergrad I specialized with a Public Relations graduate certificate. I spent five years volunteering alongside Steve with the Sun Life Financial Waterloo Busker Carnival progressively moving into a role as its Director of PR and Social Media. The rest is history.
Last week I was interviewed by the Shold Media Group about the industry and what my advice is for new graduates moving into the crazy world of public relations and digital marketing. You can read the full article here. The biggest piece of advice I would give new grads is to relax. You don’t know what you don’t know… and that’s okay! There is nothing wrong with saying that you don’t know something, or approaching someone who does know and asking for help.
With that being said, I hope leaders in the field will continue to step up as new generations take on these leadership roles. Every young professional needs connections in life to help them grow. We can’t have faith in a strong future if we don’t help the young professionals of today to grow and develop. Karen Scian and other community leaders in Waterloo Region recently created a community—NextGen Waterloo Region—for exactly that purpose: “…a grassroots collective of progressive-minded citizens, working together to build stronger connections in our community through education and advocacy.”
After spending the last week in Alberta with my U of A colleagues, I finished my time sitting thousands of feet up on top of Sulphur Mountain while writing for Travel Alberta. I was catching the sunset out the window when suddenly a thought hit me hard—sometimes you just have to go, because the time is now. Right here, right now is all we’ve got. I used to be so cautious with meeting new people and trying new things. The strong leaders in our community have helped me to realize that the only way to move forward is to go—travel, work hard, and play hard. If you aren’t sure, do it anyways because 99% of the time you’ll only regret the things you didn’t do.
I read a quote in a book recently that really stuck with me—I’ve written it out below. So I guess after 11 days of travelling coast-to-coast, my advice has changed slightly. Whatever your quest may be related to—travel, fitness, family, friendships, your career—I hope you have the courage to dare greatly and leave it for the unknown… because, there are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.
“I’ve come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call “The Physics of The Quest” — a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself… then truth will not be withheld from you. Or so I’ve come to believe.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love