In a world where undergraduate degrees are a dime a dozen and most industries are overflowing with over-qualified candidates, I knew that getting a well-rounded education was a necessity. My parents also always encouraged me to go after what I loved to do and not use my education strictly as a career path.
That is how I ended up graduating from the University of Toronto with an English Specialist degree and no intention of applying my new-found education directly to a career.
Knowing I would have to enrol in post-graduate studies and with colleges offering extensive program options, I quickly learned that there were many different career paths that piqued my interest.
After speaking with people involved in the industries I wanted to enter into, training in public relations stood out among the rest.
It offered an opportunity to work in an industry where I could combine my learned skills with my passions. While I was focused on pursuing a career in a very specific area of PR, many of my peers were more focused on whether to go into agency, corporate or non-profit.
Few had considered if there was a specific area or particular clients they wanted to work with.
It wasn’t until I started my internship and my boss shared her school-to-industry transition story that I realized how important being focused and knowledgeable in a specific area could be.
If you can position yourself as the go-to person in your company, you essentially become invaluable to your colleagues.
While many industries like PR will give you opportunities to work with various clients in many different industries, it is important to consider your personal brand and what you want people to know you for.
If you are passionate about technology and can become an expert in that area, there will be more opportunities for you to work with clients who interest you.
Once you establish what you are known for, you can then expand as opportunities become available. I was able to secure an internship with a notable start-up company because of my passion for cars, as their main client is well positioned in the automotive industry.
I have the opportunity to not only focus on my passion, but also delve into many of the interesting opportunities that an agency setting offers.
Where Caitlin is now
Currently I am working at North Strategic, the agency where I interned, as an Account Co-ordinator. I have the unique opportunity to watch as a company is built from the ground up and learn from some of the best known practitioners in the industry.
Working with clients in the areas that I am passionate about is a definite bonus.
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