It's been a minute, hello! It's been a crazy couple of weeks, and more craziness is just around the corner. On April 30th, I completed my final day of the Advertising and Marketing Communications Management program at St. Lawrence College.
The back half of my final semester saw me "going out" on placement. This year, with COVID-19 in-person placement, was not an option, so I completed a 6-week placement remotely with Empire Life's Communication Services Department. I wanted to pursue a placement with a Communications team as I am passionate about storytelling and like to think of myself as a "good" writer. The team at Empire Life was so welcoming and supportive.
First Impressions of Empire Life
Before my placement, I knew Empire Life provided advice and options for life insurance, investments, and financial planning, but as a 21-year-old with limited finances, I didn’t actually understand the products and services offered.
Since then, I’ve learned a lot about how the finance industry communicates with its clients and what content is valuable. I’ve done my fair share of snooping around their product pages to learn more about the industry and offerings... but I'm still quite the novice.
I pursued Empire Life for my internship because I wanted to learn more about the Communications sector, and there aren’t many of those options in Kingston. I also wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and immerse myself in something completely foreign to me: finance! Jumping into the deep end is the quickest way to put your skills to the test—to see if you’ll sink or swim—and I'm proud to report that I did not have a rug pulled out from under my feet. I was able to hit the ground running and be a contributing member of the Communications team. Since the finance world is so new to me, I asked a lot of questions, but my team members were very supportive.
While working with the Communication Services team,
-I flexed my communication skills
-Dove deeper into internal communications
-Hardened my internal communication skills, writing a variety of eServices articles covering Empire Life and People news
-Enhanced my networking skills as I connected with and learned from so many insightful Empire Lifers.
-Developed internal and external communications content to better company understanding and engagement.
-Learned the most important lesson: simple communications. Don’t confuse people, keep it short and sweet!
Everyone at Empire Life was amazing to me; always offering guidance or feedback on my projects and helping me become a better communicator.
My Communications Mission
I wanted to bring a fresh outlook on social media marketing to my team during placement by presenting them with ideas, strategies, and tools that I believed would help elevate Empire Life’s online presence. I was happy to see that before the conclusion of my placement they implemented some of my marketing strategy suggestions, and hope other proposals I made will aid them in the future for their future communication pieces.
I could not have asked for a better placement opportunity to conclude my studies. The Communications team allowed me to showcase my value as a team member through a variety of assignments and team projects which is truly rewarding.
My Future in Marketing Communications
Even though graduation isn't officially until June, I am currently on the hunt for a full-time job while working freelance gigs and preparing for a move back to Kingston.
I plan to pursue a career in digital marketing and communications. I'm not sure what sector I’d like to work in yet but have loved my time within the education and small business sectors. I like to see my work impacting positive change in my community. I'm currently applying and interviewing for jobs in the Kingston area. I’d love to stay local for the first few years of my career but am 100% open to adventures and wherever the world leads me! My goal is to land a job with a dynamic company that champions employee learning and growth. As an entry-level worker, I'm a sponge ready to soak up knowledge and take on new challenges.
As I said previously, I am currently in the application and interviewing grind at the moment hoping to secure a full-time marketing communications position within the education or small business sector while completing some freelance work on the side.
I have been working on hardening my skill sets by reviewing certifications and taking new certification courses through HubSpot Academy including Social Media Marketing, Digital Advertising, Search Engine Optimization, and more. I am a true believer in lifelong learning and feel this free time between completing my studies and starting work is the perfect opportunity to brush up and learn new skills.
Additionally, I have been reaching out and connecting with professionals in my industry to get their insights on the field, receive advice and expand my network. Connecting with others is my favourite way to learn about my industry as everyone has unique backgrounds and career paths.
I am excited to relocate back to Kingston and eager to see what opportunities will cross my path. Be sure to stay tuned for more exciting updates and topic deep dives!
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