When I was accepted to the PRCC Co-op program in 2015, I thought Public Relation was the key to my professional freedom. It would let me work anywhere in the country, maybe even abroad! I had never heard of Government Relations. After hearing about the GRM program during orientation, I needed less than five minutes to decide to transfer.
I made the switch because the Government Relations program could offer me more than professional freedom. It offered professional purpose. I wanted an opportunity to create meaningful change through advocacy without sacrificing the ability to work from anywhere.
And that’s exactly what I have.
GRM was precisely what I needed because it offered a collaborative approach to learning. Each week I honed new skills, experimenting with them through practical exercises and conversation with my peers and profs. My cohort built the same foundation in writing, public speaking and strategic planning as the PRCC program, but we didn’t stop at learning the skills of a communications professional. We gradually developed a professional paradigm that seeks out opportunities and builds strategic plans that managers respect, and clients get behind. In the end, developing both the skills of a professional and the mindset to source out strategic opportunities were the key to building my own professional freedom.
As a graduate of Government Relations Management, I committed to turning my education and varied work experience into a job where I rely on the skills I developed at Seneca every day. Collaborating with a mixed team of independent contractors, I help rural small business owners, not for profits and registered charities troubleshoot communications, stakeholder relations and business development challenges. With a team around me, I juggle possible outcomes to find just the right strategy for a potential client the same way we did in class each day, week after week. I get to work from home, the cottage or a local co-workspace on projects with a purpose. As it happens, helping my clients build their dreams is my professional passion; one I discovered at Seneca.
Stephanie Wood graduated from the Government Relations Management Co-op with highest honours in October of 2017. With more than 5 years in non-profit sector public relations, she used her education at Seneca to start Thrive Consulting in January of 2018. She lives in Barrie with her daughter and husband and works from anywhere.