Empowering Tomorrow’s PR Leaders: Women in PR Ghana Organizes its “Industry vs Classroom” Event at UniMAC IJ Campus
Women in PR Ghana organized its campus engagement series, “Industry vs Classroom”, in collaboration with the University of Media Arts Communication – Institute of Journalism Campus (UniMAC-IJ) on November 7, 2023.
The event brought together PR industry experts and university students to interact, share knowledge, and engage under the topic: “Choosing a Career Path: What’s Next after Graduation.” These industry experts, who are also members of Women in PR Ghana, included Gwendy Laryea, Consumer Educator at First National Bank Ghana; Deborah Bonney, Deputy Head of Corporate Affairs at the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) Ghana; and Mary Lawson, PR Consultant in Ghana.
Speaking on behalf of Women in PR Ghana, Gwendy Laryea stated that events like the “Industry vs Classroom” series focuses on the organization’s five pillars: Education, Empowerment, Mentoring, Networking, and Leadership. She encouraged students to take advantage of these opportunities to add value to themselves.
Dr. Albert Anani Bossman, the Head of the Department for PR and a lecturer at the university, in his welcome address, admonished students to leverage such opportunities presented by the university to build themselves, enrich their networks, and make connections with industry experts.
This series saw the participation of hundreds of students and young professionals from the university who engaged in diverse conversations relevant to the topic under discussion. The panel shared their experiences and insights on various career prospects available in the country, the key skill sets demanded of recent graduates, tips for job hunting, and the importance of building a personal brand as a student.
Gwendy Laryea, Consumer Educator at First National Bank Ghana, advised students to create contacts as one of the key things they should do before leaving school. “Establish a good relationship with your peers because they are the same people you will be working with in the coming years,” she said. To add to that, she mentioned that students should build trust for themselves as their credibility depended on it and also open themselves up to knowledge in the constantly evolving world of PR and Communications.
Deborah Bonney, Deputy Head of Corporate Affairs at PURC Ghana, also encouraged students to build up values of effective time management and “learn to be part of the conversation.” “The PR profession doesn’t demand that you become shy or timid. Be bold and courageous and learn to contribute to conversations,” she stated. She also encouraged students to look into the area of ESG when carving a niche for themselves as it has become the next big thing relevant to every organization.
Mary Lawson, a PR Consultant, admonished students to put intentional and consistent efforts into building their personal brand. With social media as a tool, she cautioned students to be mindful of the little things, comments, and photos they post. She also encouraged students to dress appropriately and learn to be polite to people because “your attitude and mannerism contribute to the testimonies people make about you.”
The “Industry vs Classroom” is a Women in PR Ghana student engagement series aimed at bridging the gap between professionals and students. Through this initiative, we aim to empower students to make informed career choices by offering them a platform to interact with industry experts and professionals. The event saw the participation and contribution of most lecturers from the university.
Participants interacting during the event
Participants interacting after the event