By Miranda Germani
It can be tough for students and new grads to stand out from the crowd when looking for that perfect first job. Everyone’s education and work experience tend to be similar, so winning an award can really make you shine.
One person who did just that is Robin Smith, winner of the CPRS Toronto Public Relations Student of the Year Leadership Award at the ACE Awards gala in 2012. Here’s how he used this opportunity to land a role with one of the top agencies in Canada.
“Winning the Student of the Year Leadership Award was a major stepping stone for me. I used my acceptance speech as a ‘pitch’ and advertised myself to the people most likely to make new hires. Before leaving the stage I had received my first business card, and by the end of the night I had met some very important people,” Robin says. This strategy worked, and as Robin went on to explain, “By following up on the contacts I made at the ACE Awards Gala I was able to secure a full-time position with one of the best agencies in Canada, starting my first job after graduating from Seneca College.”
Robin encourages anyone to apply, saying “I think a self-nomination is a great career building move. I knew going into the nomination that it would be a long shot, but the satisfaction and confidence that being recognized brought was a huge reward. If you’re not nominating yourself and you’re giving your colleague the nod, it is a big show of respect for that person. Taking the time to highlight the talents of one of your colleagues is a great way to show that they are appreciated and valued.”
Robin thinks his application stood out to the judges due to a shining reference, with solid volunteer experience sealing the deal.
“Receiving an ACE Award was amazing, totally fantastic. When I got the message from the President of CPRS Toronto it caught me so off guard that I just started laughing. Toronto is one of the most important cities for Canadian PR practitioners, with a large and active community, and being recognized by the group was a huge honour, especially considering how many PR students there are in post-grad programs across the city.”
If you think you or someone else should be recognized, now is your chance to nominate yourself or a deserving peer for the CPRS Toronto Public Relations Student of the Year Leadership Award. And there are no barriers to throwing your hat into the ring – entry is free!
In addition to the CPRS Toronto Public Relations Student of the Year Leadership Award there are also Award categories for Young Public Relations Professional of the Year, Public Relations Professional of the Year, Mentor of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.
More information is available on the CPRS Toronto Leadership Awards page. But hurry, the deadline is soon! Nominations must be submitted by February 24, 2013.
The Leadership Awards will be presented at the ACE Awards Gala on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.