Finishing the first lap

My arrival to Canada and the first semester of the CCPR program, happened to be just like the seasonal whether. My experience through the winter was very hard to carry on, specially because I come from a very warm country where wearing a light sweater could be suffocating.

Being far away from home altogether with the preparation for the everyday snow and many layers of clothes, was the biggest physical and mental challenge that I have ever been through. As well for the academic matter, the change was huge. The cultural shock between the the two, Venezuelan and Canadian educational system, was very interesting too. It wasn’t easy, in fact it is not easy, but I’m very thankful for having the opportunity to learn and exchange knowledge that will nourish me in many aspects of my life.

The metaphor of the season suits perfect with what I’ve felt since the beginning. It has been difficult, specially for being an international student, but now that the term is over and the weather is finally getting nicer, my vision towards the program now seems to be more clear and less overwhelming than the beginning. It is hard, but nobody said it was easy, which makes me feel proud of my class and myself for surviving the first avalanche of assignments and events for this first semesters in CCPR.

Taking a look to the past, group assignments will always be the most challenging and fun experiences for me. I like the way we learn how to handle the “colours” of each member of the group and learn how to break down the tasks so each one of us is working according to our strengths and weaknesses, almost like doing a SWOT analysis to ourselves automatically, but this couldn’t be possible if we hadn’t done so many presentations and group assignments. I’m sure my classmates agree with me when I say that the word “meeting” was one of the most repeated words during this period. But it worth it! Specially because you get to know the people that is going to be around you for eight months, your colleagues, and because this is a preparation for the similar situations we have to go through in “real life” when working with a new team at work.

I consider myself as a lucky person. I’m from that small percentage of people that can proudly say “I studied something that I love”. I consider communication as a powerful tool that could put the world upside down, depending on how we use it. This program has definitely contributed to my training as a professional, for I used to appreciate communication as a tool, but now I think is mere power; and as a communicator, I feel responsible and honoured to be part of this big force.

Since I started my education at the university I learned about semiotics and proxemics, how to identify and take symbols, colours, font types, dress codes; to combine them and create messages to persuade. The CCPR program continues adding a big weigh in that matter, for when I watch the news, interviews and material of the kind, I can’t stop detecting signs of the people participating, and criticizing whether it was a good or a bad job of the PR professional behind the screen, and almost instinctively I start to create an strategy and thinking the way I should have done it.

Different subjects, projects and personalities joined us during the first half of the program to share how life in the communications field will be; different experiences that make us mature as future professionals. I’m just going to enjoy this well deserved break for now, while I get started for the next term, which will get bright and fun just like summer.

And now, if you excuse me, I’m going to celebrate the long break!