The Word

about Centennial’s Corporate Communications + PR program

Government communications ideal for this grad

Posted by bwaite on November 24, 2008

By Jessica Wolfraim, Class of 2009

Grad Murray Gaudreau

Grad Murray Gaudreau

When Murray Gaudreau began Centennial College’s Corporate Communications and Public Relations program in January 2002, he was uncertain about his communications skills and abilities.  However, Centennial’s program quickly changed that.

For Gaudreau, an issues co-ordinator for the Ontario Ministry of Education and Chatham-Kent-Essex’s New Democratic Party leader, the program provided him with a sense of confidence — the basis of his successful communications career.  “Centennial helped me figure out that I am good at what I do,” he recalls.  “After graduation you are able to go into the job and know you have the skills to succeed.”

But this PR practitioner ultimately credits Centennial’s qualified and experienced instructors for teaching him the fundamentals.  “The faculty really gives you the inside knowledge that you need.  They provide the basics plus a lot of tips and guidance.  And they show you how to become a contributing member of the team.”

While Gaudreau gained a great deal of experience from the program, his Field Placement proved to be the most beneficial.  During the midpoint of his internship with the Ontario Ministry of Education’s public affairs unit, the ministry offered him a full-time contract position.

Today, six years later, he works as an issues co-ordinator for the media relations unit.  His position involves establishing issues management plans and crafting key messages for the Ministry of Education.

The lessons from Centennial’s nine-month communications and public relations program also became highly advantageous for Gaudreau during his October 2007 political campaign for MPP in his hometown riding in Chatham-Kent-Essex, Ont.  In fact, the skills he acquired at Centennial were a great help to his campaign.  “The Presentation Skills course was particularly good… it gave me a formalized approach to writing speeches.”

So what does this PR practitioner recommend to those interested in a communications career within the government?  “Be committed to what you do by giving 100 per cent all the time,” he says.  But Gaudreau’s best advice is even more insightful.  “Life is a team sport and it takes a lot of people to make a product a success, so welcome the advice and suggestions of others.

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