When Opportunity Knocks


After six weeks of learning about PR in the SFU PR Program, I felt like I had a solid ‘tool kit’ to prepare for my practicum at Elettra. In class, we learned a little bit of everything from media kits, pitching, and social media for PR, but there is only so much you can learn in a classroom. The practicum component of the course is a chance to give that newly developed ‘tool kit’ a try, and taking advantage of the opportunities that come with it, whether the opportunity is presented to you directly or not.  When I started my practicum with Elettra, I had no idea how many opportunities would come my way.

Direct Opportunities: The first day of any practicum or job is always nerve-wracking, so it was nice to find out that on my first day of Elettra I was given a list of smaller and lower priority tasks. These tasks were a direct opportunity to show my capability, even if it was on a small scale. In my perspective, every task that you are assigned is an opportunity to do well.

Indirect Opportunities: Your practicum is what you make of your practicum. Yes, your supervisor will assign you tasks, but you also have the opportunity to find ways to go above and beyond those. For instance, my supervisors gave the team a brief overview on an upcoming project and let us know that there would be a brainstorm for ideas later on that day. Even though this was not “assigned”, I took advantage of some extra time I had, and did a mini brainstorm on my own. I essentially prepared a little pitch for my idea, anticipated problems and prepared answers for those problems. When I presented this to my supervisors at the brainstorm that day, they invited me to not only be part of the project but they also asked me if I would like to be hired on after my practicum to complete the campaign! This was a bit of a ‘aha’ moment for me, because I realized how initiative can help you make the best of your practicum and how you have the power to form your own opportunities.

Reflection: The SFU PR program really helped me to start thinking from a PR perspective and gave me a little more confidence with the skills I had developed. My experience at Elettra was a fantastic way to learn in a supportive environment, a chance to try out my skills in assigned tasks, and a chance to take advantage of some really great opportunities.

Beyond the Article: If you would like to see the campaign I helped with, take a look at Vancity Buzz’s page and the Harbour Centre website’s contest page.