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Home Centennial College Blog 2017 May 04 Internship in Costa Rica provides Public Relations perspective

Internship in Costa Rica provides Public Relations perspective

Picture of Bianka Knight

Each and every company and organization that exists in the modern world needs to brand itself and communicate with that world in order to survive, which is why the career of public relations management exists. Public relations management is about telling a story, and managing the narrative and perception of the business or institution you represent. Centennial College's Bachelor of Public Relations Management program can make you into that communicator, and enhance your skills with practical, portfolio-building learning opportunities. A modern professional communicator has to do a lot of different things, so in this diploma program, you learn a variety of skills, including writing, social media, event planning, budgeting and presentation skills. Most importantly, though, since it's now a globally-connected world we live in, any professional worth their salt needs to have a global communications perspective, which this program works to provide.

For example, Bianka Knight is a student in her third year of our Bachelor of Public Relations Management program and will be gaining that international perspective by heading to Costa Rica as part of the program, to learn about public relations management in another country. Here's how it happened, and what else the program has taught her.

A program full of variety

Bianka originally wanted to get into advertising and marketing but decided it didn't really suit her as a career, but she liked parts of it. Because of this, friends suggested she take Public Relations Management instead, as it aligned better to her interests. She specifically chose our program, though, because it offers more variety than the usual fare.

"The program focuses on more than just public relations," she says, thinking back to what she's learned over three years. "We've covered a lot of different subjects, like marketing, research, and business. This semester, we focused on investor relations, and we did a lot of law courses."

"You can do more than public relations with our degree," she explains, so it gives you the opportunity to go into many different fields, and be more advanced than most individuals in PR because we're learning many different aspects."

"I particularly enjoyed the research courses, and most recently, the investor relations course," she says, "because I feel like in school they typically don't really teach us to invest our money, so that was a very good program. I also liked law and ethics, because now we can understand what's going on in law, and if we get into that position, we know the laws and ethics that we need to stand by."

A placement brings international education

"I'm going to Costa Rica for three months to do a public relations management internship for a hotel, " Bianka explains, "so I'll be staying at the hotel for three months, and I'll be working in the marketing department with blog postings, social media, and all the marketing aspects for the hotel. In their words, I'll be creating an experience for the people that come there, selling the experience of the hotel." While she still had to interview for the position, the program's instructors set the opportunity up for her in collaboration with the International department's Services and Global Experience (SaGE) team.

"We're at the point where we need to get internships for the summer," she says, "and my instructor actually forwarded me an email saying that this was an internship that I'd do well in, and be interested in. She put myself and the hotel in touch." A resume, cover letter, and Skype interview later, she was in. She leaves in May and will be gone for three months.

"I'm expecting to have an amazing experience and soak up a different culture," she says of her hopes for the trip. "I want to see how different countries do PR, how they interpret and intertwine their culture into their business, and I'm really excited to learn the language, and how they do things down there. I'm hoping it'll be an eye-opener for me, a life-changing experience, not just for education, but just for me as a whole person."

As for where she hopes to go after? "I'm personally interested in the Event Management side," she says of her career plans, "but I thought this was a great opportunity for me because a hotel does a lot of events that need promotion. I'm hoping I can really explore the event side of PR." For now though, she's about to take her education to the international stage.

"Excitement, a little bit of nervousness, but I really don't know what to expect," she says of her feelings. "I'm going in there with an open mind, and just hoping for the best, hoping to soak up the entire experience."

By Anthony Geremia

Are you interested in a Global Experience? 

Centennial College's Services and Global Experience team (SaGE) provides opportunities for students to study, work, or volunteer abroad. Check the Global Experience website for a listing of current international programs available, and keep your eyes peeled on social media for our next call for applications!  https://sage.centennialcollege.ca/

Plus, don't forget to visit the Global Experience blog (centennialglobalexperience.com) where Bianka will continue to capture her exciting adventures in Costa Rica and discover what other Centennial students have been up to around the world!  

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