The Word

about Centennial’s Corporate Communications + PR program

Grad enjoys working for Ontario government

Posted by bwaite on May 11, 2009

Julia Holliday

Grad Julia Holliday

By Nicole Bachan, Class of 2009

Fiona and Sean, two appropriately named prized shamrocks, strategically nestle neatly under the lights in the corner of Julia Holliday’s desk. She is a graduate of the Corporate Communications and Public Relations (CC&PR) program and director of the Web and Interactive Marketing department at the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC).

Although Holliday nurtures these shamrock plants, the luck of the Irish is by no means the reason for Holliday’s successful career.

Holliday, who graduated in the late 80’s, really enjoys her job at the OTMPC and attributes her success to the CC&PR program at Centennial College. “If I hadn’t taken that program at Centennial College, I wouldn’t be sitting here,” she says.

At 28, married and with two children, Holliday found out through a friend about the merits of enrolling in the then two-year CC& PR program. She registered for the program as she felt confident in her writing. “I’d always been a really good writer,” Holliday said, and, naturally, decided to pursue her career along those lines.

With Holliday’s previous writing experience at Aon Reed Stenhouse Insurance Brokerage Communications’ Department producing internal and external publications, Holliday knew the CC&PR program was a right fit.

As a result, following her internship at the Department of Public Health, she landed a six-month contract at the OTMPC. This resulted in her present seven years of success at this corporation.

Holliday’s assessment of the CC&PR Program courses is “extremely useful.” She appreciated the journalistic writing aspect, the photography course, and the creative thinking prods from Christine Smith, the program coordinator.

Now, with a team of six, managing 13 different websites, Holliday highlighted the “skills around thinking creatively and strategically,” “writing effectively,” and “analyzing annual reports,” as proficiencies she uses consistently as part of web marketing. She also frequently works strategically with the director and on other specific projects with an advertising team.

Her greatest challenge now is “the new trend of social media,” she said. “You have to be strategic in thinking. It’s not always the right strategy.” Holliday is interested in using social media to advertise the customer experience. However, “challenges from the government and privacy laws” restrict content. “Many resources have to go into it,” Holliday said.

Having both this CC&PR education and work experience, Holliday offered this advice. “It’s always overwhelming, but put discipline in it” and “be very confident; confidence is like three quarters of it.”

It appears only the shamrocks know the final quarter to Holliday’s continued success.

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