As a recent university grad, I remember all too vividly that excited, yet immensely nervous feeling while striding across a stage to receive a confirmation of my academic achievement. It was presented in a cardboard tube with all the gravity of Moses receiving a stone tablet on Mount Sinai. Can you tell I’m a history major yet?
All joking about arts degrees aside, the nervousness I felt upon graduating had much more to do with the journey ahead of me than the one I had just completed. Walking across that stage signalled accomplishment, but also my entry into the daunting realm of employed adulthood. Accordingly, I held on to my undergraduate identity for dear life, and applied to Algonquin College’s Public Relations (PR) program, which turned out to be a wonderful decision.
As part of the program students are given a field placement during the final semester. When my program coordinator told me I would be at CSC’s National Headquarters, I had no idea what to expect.
After working in the Communications and Engagement sector at CSC for several weeks now, I tell anyone who will listen what an utterly superb experience it has been. I use the skills and techniques learned in my PR program on a daily basis, and having the opportunity to hone them on real projects while receiving guidance from professionals has been invaluable to me.
As a student here, you can expect to contribute toward everything from publishing news releases and writing media lines, to conducting interviews, writing feature stories on CSC staff and initiatives, and assisting with graphic design and video production - to list but a few.
Other highlights for me have included attending a presentation from renowned counter-radicalization specialist Mubin Sheikh (who was instrumental in apprehending the “Toronto 18”), as well as a tour of CSC’s National Monitoring Centre. The 9th floor tradition known as ‘Donut Friday’ has also been pretty sweet (see what I did there?)
Beyond the excellent skills development and learning from a team of coworkers who are welcoming, highly motivated, and not lacking in sense of humour, my time at CSC has contributed to my own personal development through less tangible, but exceedingly valuable takeaways. I now know for certain I want a career in communications, and that there are countless avenues for such a career within the federal public service. Finally, I’ve gained a great deal of confidence in my own abilities, and I feel I have the potential to succeed in a large and established organization whose work has significant impacts upon Canadians every day. No more stage anxiety for me. Thanks CSC.