A Path to Success
Student Profile: Chiara Cruz
A post-degree program in public relations put Chiara Cruz on the path to success.
Like many university graduates, Chiara Cruz wasn’t sure what her next step should be. Cruz knew she wanted to help people find their voice, but didn’t know how to translate her BA Specialization in Anthropology with a Minor in Psychology from Western University into a career.
A career counsellor suggested the Post-Degree Program in Public Relations at Western Continuing Studies. “I decided to apply, and I’m really grateful I did,” says Cruz, who graduated from Western Continuing Studies in April 2021.
The Post-Degree Diploma in Public Relations is one of seven career-focused programs offered by Western Continuing Studies. The combination of in-class learning from industry experts and a four-month internship helps graduates stand out in the job market and expand their employment opportunities.
“This isn’t a stepping stone to a master’s degree or an upgrading program. It’s a one-year opportunity to develop clear competencies to kick-start your career,” says Western Continuing Studies Program Manager, Katrina McIntosh.
Ashleigh Lerch is the Work Integrated Learning Coordinator at Western Continuing Studies. It’s her job to help match students with a practicum in their field. “I build relationships with a lot of organizations,” she says. “I also offer students support with resumes, cover letters, and interview skills.”
“Our students have the training and are employment ready,” she notes. “Employers often scoop them up after the internship. But if that’s not the case, they have gained the practical experience to land another job.”
That’s exactly what happened to Cruz. After completing a successful practicum with a London social media agency, she went on to a summer contract with a Mississauga non-profit. “I was given an offer to stay on board with them, but decided to accept a position with my current company,” says Cruz, who works as Demand Generation Specialist with iApotheca Healthcare Inc.
While Cruz completed her Western Continuing Studies post-degree diploma remotely due to the global pandemic, students entering a program in September 2022 will have the option to study in-person at the London, Ontario campus with a hybrid model that combines in-class and remote learning, or fully online, with real-time learning.
“Western Continuing Studies really helped me understand public relations and build connections with my peers and people in the industry,” says Cruz. “It taught me a lot of practical skills that I am using in my current position. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t decided to enroll.”
Each year more than 3000 adult learners enroll in courses for professional development and personal enrichment at Western Continuing Studies.
We are inspired by their passion to challenge themselves, to learn, and to succeed. For each student the path to the classroom is unique.
Chiara Cruz is a graduate of our Diploma in Public Relations program.