My time as a communication student at Royal Roads University has already taught me so much about what it means to be an effective communicator in today’s global landscape. I am constantly learning and evolving in my understanding of who I want to be as a professional communicator when I graduate this September. Through both my academic and work experience, I’ve begun to understand the key rule to communication. You must listen. Listen to your audience, and be aware of the context in which you are delivering a message. Listening before acting allows you to truly connect with others. My goal in public relations is to connect with people to create mutually-beneficial relationships.
There are two significant parts of my life that led me to Royal Roads and Vancouver Island. One was studying in the public relations program at Algonquin College in Ottawa, O.N., and the other was my deep desire to live near the mountains and the ocean. I graduated college in Spring 2017, but the two years leading up to that moment inspired a thirst for knowledge that remains unquenchable. I am passionate about understanding how humans make meaning through communication. It is that need for understanding that I believe will allow me to connect with audiences and deliver messages effectively with clear intent and purpose. While studying at Algonquin, I heard about Royal Roads’ Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication program, and I immediately laid out a plan to make my way to Canada’s west coast.
Since moving to Victoria, I have been able to connect with so many amazing individuals through Royal Roads and CPRS-VI. My peers, colleagues, and ever-growing network continue to inspire me to strive for more. It’s an exciting time to be a communicator, given the huge strides in technology and the level of connectivity we now have through social media. As a public relations professional, I am passionate about understanding all the tools that are available for communicators and how they can help connect people on both a local and international level.
I feel extremely fortunate and grateful to have received the Denis Racine Student Bursary for the 2018 academic year. I am also thankful to the CPRS-VI, whose members have made me feel so welcome here in Victoria.
I look forward to connecting with more inspiring, creative individuals at events this year.
By Chelsea Rutherford, 2018 CPRS-VI Denis Racine Bursary Recipient.