by Mackenzie Keller, Class of 2009
Avril Henry did not initially see herself working in public relations, but after more than 10 years in the field, she is certain she made the right career choice.
Henry, the Director of Public Relations at the Scott Mission, began her post-secondary education in a college journalism program, but decided quickly that journalism was not for her. “I realized I wanted to do more than just writing,” she says. So, with a love for writing, as well as variety, she decided to enrol in Centennial’s Corporate Communications program.
Since graduating in 1997, Henry has done exactly what she hoped to do – work on many different types of projects in a wide range of sectors. For the last three-and-a-half years she’s worked in PR for the Scott Mission, a not-for-profit organization, after working in other sectors such as PR agencies and health care
She “sort of fell into” working for a not-for-profit and ended up really enjoying it. “The not-for-profit sector is well-rounded and exposes you to a lot more than a lot of for-profit companies. Because they’re often so small, you get to develop your skills and experience so much more,” she says.
Her work during a typical day at the Scott Mission is very diverse. “I do everything from writing ad copy, writing press releases, pitching features and doing donor communications, to interviewing people about how the Scott Mission has helped them,”
This grad attributes much of her success and ability to be flexible in her career to the training she received at Centennial. “It’s a well-rounded program that provides a really good foundation … the skills are interchangeable and the fundamentals never change,” she says.
While working in public relations was not her initial career goal, Avril Henry is very happy with her decision to study public relations. “I can’t imagine doing anything else,” she says.