Archive for the ‘Students’ Category

The value of mentorship

Monday, December 11th, 2017

Bridgette Slater, Senior Intern

 

Mentorship programs have many benefits that extend to the mentee, the mentor and the organization as a whole. Some of these benefits include increased engagement, improved goal setting and enhanced knowledge sharing. For mentees, these programs provide the opportunity to learn and seek advice from people who hold the very positions they one-day hope to attain. For mentors, these programs provide an opportunity to develop a personal and effective leadership style and to gain insight into new ways of working within the industry.

At Brookline, new employees at all levels are provided with a mentor who holds a more senior position and who has a fulsome understanding of the agency’s processes and culture. At the intern level, employees become part of the BPR Apprentices program, which is specifically designed to provide students or recent graduates with the industry experience they need to become knowledgeable and well-rounded practitioners. The relationship usually starts with the practitioners getting to know each other on a personal and professional level and, as time passes, a mutually-beneficial bond is formed.

One such benefit is increased engagement from the mentee, which stems from having the support of a fellow colleague and a resource they can rely on for help. Additionally, as communication becomes increasingly digital, there is something to be said about developing a relationship face-to-face through mentorship. This method tends to lead to increased trust, which in turn makes individuals feel more comfortable participating in team settings.

An important component of Brookline’s culture is the standard of continuous professional development. Whether an individual is just getting started or is considered the agency’s veteran, all team members are expected to set goals. Mentees are first introduced to Brookline’s goal setting initiatives by their mentors and the pair work collaboratively to develop specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals. Many of Brookline’s mentors use this relationship as an opportunity to become more effective leaders by providing their mentees with guidance and insight into the steps they can take to enhance their skills as public relations practitioners.

Finally, things can change in the blink of an eye in the world of public relations, which is why it is important for colleagues to keep each other informed of industry developments. Mentorship is one such way that individuals come together to share information about standard procedures and new approaches. For example, a mentor may teach their mentee about commonly recognized industry practices, such as pitching etiquette or time management strategies, to help their co-worker achieve success. Conversely, when new employees enter an organization, they bring with them knowledge gained from previous experience or through education. This information is often shared through the mentor-mentee relationship, which helps all employees stay fresh and current as they progress in their careers.

Mentorship is a powerful thing and to have the opportunity to be on either end of the relationship is something that should be valued.

Denzel Washington fully encapsulated the idea of mentorship when he said, “show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.”

 

Bridgette Slater is the Senior Intern at Brookline Public Relations. Her experience lies within the realms of event planning, corporate and creative writing, and social media management.

The Brilliance in Brookline

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Kate Barton, Guest Blogger

 

What is public relations? That’s the big question, especially for students. It’s hard to really know without experiencing it first-hand.

This past month I was given an incredible opportunity that not many people get – the chance to experience what my future career might be like in advance of graduating and joining the workforce. The team at Brookline Public Relations was kind enough to invite me to take part in a day-in-the-life experience at their agency. Both nervous and excited, I couldn’t wait to see what the day would bring.

My morning began with a tour of the beautiful Brookline office and introductions to each of the 13 Brookliners on staff. I then had the opportunity to sit down and get to know Assistant Account Specialist and public relations extraordinaire, Dakota Sandquist. Within minutes, I had a pretty clear picture of what life was like at the agency and as the day progressed, I was able to see how the magic was made at Brookline.

The most intriguing and also intimidating part of my day was sitting in on Brookline’s weekly staff meeting, or “Traffic” as they call it. The full team convened to swap updates on all of their client accounts, discuss marketing and social media strategies for the agency, and even go over CP style (so yes students, it matters!). Quick to volunteer to help one another with anything and able to switch gears between accounts at the drop of a hat, the Brookline team showed me what an efficient and passionate public relations team looks like – a real force to be reckoned with!

Following Traffic, a few members of the team took me out to lunch. This was a great opportunity for me to pick their brains on public relations and agency life. I even got insight into which accounts were closest to them, as well as their day-to-day lives at Brookline. Both professionals, Ashlee Smith and Douglas Self, were very open to any and all questions I had, and also had some great insights into the world of public relations.

I was also lucky enough to get some one-on-one time with a number of other team members throughout the day, including Brookline’s two interns, Shae Pollock and Pauline Tapuska, who I learned are both recent graduates of the Public Relations program at Mount Royal University. Both Shae and Pauline were able to offer me thoughtful insight into what it’s like transitioning from school to a career – and it just goes to show that while the real world of PR may seem daunting, it is entirely possible for each of us to find success!

Walking out of Brookline, I allowed the day to sink in. It was an incredible experience and I felt almost spoiled to have had this as my first glimpse into the industry. For me, the most valuable part of this experience was not only seeing public relations executed with excellence, but also with camaraderie and passion – something Brookline’s dedicated team has no shortage of.

 

Kate Barton

– Kate Barton is a third-year Public Relations student at Mount Royal University.

Students: How to bridge the gap

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Students are the untapped resource of today’s workforce. They are the business leaders and world influencers of tomorrow, yet their potential often goes unnoticed until they’ve graduated. Connecting with students is an important part of how Brookline does business and it’s a practice that can be mutually beneficial to all parties involved when it’s done right. Kick start your student engagement with these 10 tips on how to effectively work with students.

  1. Get out of the house. If you want to influence students, network with them! They are hungry for advice and full of questions about what life in the real world is really like.
  2. Get your booth in gear. Career fairs are a great way to connect with students – the whole reason they show up is to talk to you! So be creative. Make your booth exciting and remember to bring some swag along because, as we all know, everyone loves free stuff.
  3. Don’t go stale. Retire the lackluster party line you throw out there when you’re asked about your job. Share workplace stories from your personal experience that demonstrate the kinds of tasks and activities you do day-to-day. Students are looking for inspiration, so paint them a vivid picture of why your job gets you out of bed every day.
  4. Invite them inside. If you hire interns or new grads, then you’re going to want to get to know the cream of the crop before hiring season begins. Host an open house at your office and invite students from local post-secondary institutions to network with your team and get a snapshot of what it’s like to work for your company. You’ll increase awareness for your organization while simultaneously scouting for the top talent that could be your next hire.
  5. The best ships are internships. One of the best ways to learn is by doing. Internships give students the opportunity to fine-tune the skills they’ve learned in class and also provide businesses with a chance to develop their management and mentorship skills.
  6. Boards, councils and associations. Industry associations, governing boards for student unions, guest judging councils – students look up to these organizations for guidance and advice and who better to give it to them than a talented professional like yourself?
  7. Speak their language. Social media is the new soap box. Students rely on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for their news updates, social connections, entertainment and even to job search.
  8. Take time for coffee. Students are driven, ambitious and proactive. When they ask if they can pick your brain over coffee, take it as a compliment and say yes. Students with the guts to cold call you for an info interview tend to be excellent candidates for future jobs you might be hiring for.
  9. Post-secondary partnerships. Make your company well known in the student community by partnering with local universities and colleges. By guest lecturing, posting internships on their job boards, attending speed-networking events or presenting at student lunch and learns you’ll stay top of mind as a potential employer.
  10. When all else fails, food. Let’s be honest, as much as everyone loves free stuff, they love it even more when it’s edible. Offering themed treats at your career fair table or tasty hors d’oeuvres at an open house is a great way to break the ice and start the conversation with interested students.

– Erica Morgan is an intern at Brookline Public Relations. She brings experience from the oil and gas industry where she developed specific knowledge in the areas of internal communications and business ethics.