IABC Manitoba board members recently joined students from UWinnipeg PACE marketing and public relations programs to share their experience, offer advice, and create connections during an online event, organized by students, for students.

Normally, IABC Manitoba would have held an in-person networking event. Due to COVID-19 this was not possible. When society falls into a state of isolation and social distancing, it is easy to forget about the importance of connection, so IABC board members and student volunteers put their heads together to find a way to bring the energy, warmth, and encouragement that comes from helping people grow into an online platform.

“Tips for a Successful Communication Career” brought 19 students and eight professional communicators together for a fun, informative evening designed to give students an opportunity to build connections with the IABC Manitoba chapter, and gain some insider tips to achieve career success.

PACE student volunteers, Seun Akinlade, Akshita Pathania, Iqbalprit Kaur, and Danica Hidalgo worked closely with IABC Manitoba board members Marjorie Huculak and Jennifer Cox to plan activities that would be engaging for students and board members.

Akinlade opened the event with an engaging icebreaker, leading the way for IABC Manitoba President Marjorie Huculak to moderate an interview with the board.

Q&A Highlights

If you could go back in a time machine – what one thing would you do different or the same while you were in school?

“Be brave and don’t be afraid to look outside of the box. Make sure to have coffee with people because networking works.” – Kim Herberger, IABC Manitoba incoming board member.

“It’s important to make time to volunteer and build connections while you are a student. There are many doors that open to you as a student that are not necessarily open to you as a recent graduate.” – Marjorie Huculak, IABC Manitoba President

What are three attributes you look for when you are hiring or promoting someone?

“Attention to detail is important. Your resume is an extension of self, so you cannot have any spelling errors.” – Jackie De Pape Hornick, IABC Manitoba Vice-President

“Be authentic, show initiative, and be passionate. Have the confidence that ifyou put your energy in the right place you will be successful.” – Jennifer Cox, IABC Manitoba Director of Leadership Development

What are the benefits of an IABC membership?

“Having a team within my team. It creates comradery, the sharing and connection is something super beneficial.” – Christine Chilton, IABC Manitoba, Director of Professional Development

“With IABC being an international association, you have the opportunity to build an international network. That’s huge.” – Sonny Primolo, IABC Manitoba Director of Career Development.

What is one final nugget of advice for a successful career?

“Keep dreaming, but more importantly keep trying.” – Mirna Sainz-Gomez, IABC Manitoba, Director of Administration

“In the world of communications today and in coming times it’s important to realize the value of building connections.” – Shruti Gupta, IABC Manitoba Co-Director of Marketing and Communications

In conclusion: A student’s perspective

It is uncertain what our future holds as a global community, but one thing is certain, the minds of future communicators are in good hands with the leadership of these diverse mentors. It is difficult right now to connect, but through strong communication and breaking down barriers, we will get through this as a community. IABC Manitoba is still connecting and creating opportunities for students and professionals alike; sharing their advice, stories, and experience.

Written by:

Bela Findlay Gyarmati
UWinnipeg PACE Public Relations, Marketing and Strategic Communications Management student