Attention all PR and communications professionals and students! IABC member for four years, Mekala has outlined some must-not-miss benefits offered by IABC

image1Why should students become members (and renew!) with IABC?

Being a part of IABC is being a part of the broad Communications profession. You get access to a large international network of Communications Professionals who work for the government, hospitals, universities, and other reputed organizations.

If you are a student, and working on a communications plan for school, and need help, imagine speaking to a communications professional who can be just a LinkedIn message or a tweet away, and who will continue their support after you graduate!

Students can get IABC Membership at only $55 (15% of regular membership) to receive some great benefits through international and local chapters. Once students graduate, they can renew at 50% rate of the regular membership, which is called the transition membership. 

University of Winnipeg PACE has included this amount in student tuition. I encourage other universities and colleges with communications programs to think about getting IABC membership for their students. 

What opportunities does IABC offer?

Here are some of my tips to get the best value with IABC:

  • Join the volunteer board of your local chapter, IABC Manitoba
  • Attend the Professional Development and Networking events by the local chapter – subscribe to their social media (FacebookTwitter, and Instagram) to get event notifications
  • Apply International Award ‘Gold Quill’ or National Award ‘Silver Leaf’ to get your work recognized internationally and locally. (students get discounts and great benefits when submitting for awards)
  • Get certified as a Communication Management Professional (CMP) or Strategic Communication Management Professional
  • Read the Communications World Magazine to stay on top of communications news, events, jobs and trends from around the world. This is emailed to all the members weekly
  • Be part of the IABC Linked In group that has more than 48000 members from around the world
  • Attend the IABC World Conference to learn from the best and network with hundreds of communicators and attend the Canada West Region Conference, a mini world conference at home. (Canada West Conference is happening in Kewlona, BC this year and it’s sold out!)

How does IABC make new members feel welcome?

IABC is the most inclusive and approachable organization I know. I feel right at home with IABC MB. Despite their seniority, IABC members make sure that they are available to speak to any IABC member and help you understand the profession and career potential.

For example, when I first attended the IABC World Conference in Toronto in 2014, there was no one from Manitoba. I was in the middle of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, too shy to finish my wine.

Two people who came and talked to me – Russel Grossman and Sharon Hunter. At the time, Russel was the incoming International Chair and Sharon was a member of the International Executive board. I was pleasantly surprised that higher up executives like them would invest their time in getting to know new members.

If you have any questions or want more information about IABC Manitoba, Mekala invites you to connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Thanks so much Mekala! All the best for this year!

Interview with Mekala Wickramasinghe, The University of Winnipeg Professional, Applied and Continuing Education Student Life & Engagement Coordinator. Mekala also happens to be your IABC MB Vice-President.