The Word

about Centennial’s Corporate Communications + PR program

Archive for October, 2008

Grads back to class event

Posted by bwaite on October 15, 2008

by T. J. Goertz, Class of 2009

It’s been a dozen years since she graduated from Centennial’s Corporate Communications and Public Relations program. Nevertheless, Rosie Mecca Lancaster still credits her workplace success to her time in school.

“I found that everything I learned at Centennial was easily transferable…I really find the program helps you to develop those skills you need out there in the real world. It’s very practical,” Mecca Lancaster said while speaking Sept. 26 to CC and PR students.

She was part of a group of four guests who visited the Centre for Creative Communications as part of the program’s Grads Back to Classevent, organized by program co-ordinator Christine Smith.

Mecca Lancaster, the Canadian Cancer Society Ontario’s senior co-ordinator of volunteer engagement, was joined by three other  grads ­– Rob Hogan, Sarah Ryeland and Dayna MacLeod.

Hogan, an account executive at Edelman Public Relations in Toronto, graduated from Centennial just 18 months ago. Thanks to Centennial’s intensive nine-month program, Hogan’s Field Placement was a positive experience. He enjoys working at the multinational agency.

Despite the stresses and pressures of agency life, he was able to cope well after making it through the CC and PR program. Hogan now works with some “dream clients,” including Ford and Molson.

“Personally, I like drinking beer and I like cars,” Hogan told the class. “CC and PR grads should make sure to find an internship they’re interested in.”

Ryeland, the Retail Council of Canada’s independent retail project co-ordinator, said program instructor Jessie-May Rowntree led her to think big after graduating a year ago. Before joining the CC and PR program staff, Rowntree was York University’s director of communications.

 “I was really sort of inspired by the work that she had done there. What I really wanted was a chance to work somewhere where I could get a really broad range of experience.”

As a senior event manager with BMO Capital Markets, MacLeod is doing just that – getting to practice her skills in a wide range of areas. She deals with industry conferences and other high-end client events, including movie screenings and skiing-related activities.

 “I absolutely love it,” MacLeod said. “I get to do lots of travel on the job…every event I do is different. What I love best about my job is the diversity of events I get to do.”

The four guest speakers provided an exciting hour-long discussion period for students.

“It was inspiring to find out how much graduates have benefited from what we’re doing now,” said Amy Teitel, a first semester CC and PR student.


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Helping Ontario tourism

Posted by bwaite on October 14, 2008

Grad, Class of 2008

Grad, Class of 2008

Staffeen Thompson is now a Media Relations Officer, International Markets, with Ontario Tourism Marketing and Promotion.


Here’s how she describes her job:  “It’s an exciting new position. I’m really excited to be back and happy they thought of me for it. I organize media tours – and send groups of journalists/photojournalists coming from Japan, UK/Europe, Mexico, China, on tours around Ontario.”

Staffeen did her Field Placement internship with OTMP.




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Another successful grad carves out a career

Posted by bwaite on October 14, 2008

1991 graduate

1991 graduate



by Esuyemi Ogunbanke ( formerly Leslie Bharath)  



I have been able to parlay my Corporate Communication Diploma into a diverse career, which utilizes all aspects of the course.


Since graduating in 1991 I’ve worked as a journalist for radio and television, a news anchor, a producer for television, a facilitator of lectures and a communications officer. 


I enjoy diversity in my working life and recognized early on that Centennial College’s program was ideal.  After graduating, I worked as an intern at the Caribbean Broadcasting Union in Barbados.  There I produced a number of features for the regional television program Caribscope.


Participation in the United Nations Training Program for Broadcast Journalists followed, in 1992, then work on the island of St. Maarten as a journalist for the local cable channel.


On St. Maarten I began my freelance career and utilized the management training I gained in Corporate Communication to run a modelling school and help manage an art gallery while continuing my work in television.


Upon my return to Trinidad in 1995 I became a producer for a regional sports feature programme called Caribbean Sports Digest.  I visited many Caribbean islands during this period and got the opportunity to cover Caribbean athletes who participated in the Special Olympics in 1999 in North Carolina.


That year marked my transition to working as a Communications Officer with the Environmental Management Authority.  This is a governmental statutory body which deals with aspects of research, policy development and education on the environment.


During that period I began working part time at a radio station in the newsroom,  writing and reading news.  After leaving the Authority I continued in news at radio stations until 2005 before being employed full time at a Community Television Station, Gayelle the Channel. 


In 2006 I co-authored an 83-page communication manual for a non-governmental organization which seeks to empower HIV positive persons.  I also facilitated lectures based on the manual in Guyana and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.


As of September 2008, I am working as a freelance communicator through my company, Lunar Communications, set up in 1998.  Current projects include scripting six segments of a television program on technology and high tech gadgets available in T&T, reviewing two manuscripts for a local novelist and producing television features for a government information programme.


Corporate Communication has opened many doors for me.  I’ve said more than once since graduation: “I am happy to have followed the advice of my guidance counsellor who directed me to Corporate Communication over Broadcast Journalism, which was oversubscribed at the time.  I reaped the benefit of a solid grounding in the principles of writing for news and the benefit of being trained to meet the needs of any corporate environment.”



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