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Karen Brandt

Karen Brandt

Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design

Degree: Corporate Communications

Year of graduation: 2006

Forging a New Career Path

I began my career as a journalist for CBC Radio in the nation’s capital. It was a really exciting opportunity for someone fresh out of journalism school. I had the chance to work with really talented people and to try my hand at everything from reporting and news anchoring to chase producing. After a few years, I decided to apply my skills in a whole new way – by pursuing a career in communications.

I knew I couldn’t make the jump right away. If I was going to make a successful transition, I needed to learn more about communications theory and practices, I needed to get some work experience under my belt and I needed to meet new people – people with experience in the industry and people who were looking to break into it, like me. Sheridan’s Corporate Communications program offered me the opportunity to do all those things – and more.

Courses were led by highly knowledgeable and experienced instructors. They covered all aspects of communications, from media relations and crisis management to internal communications and design. Classes revolved around project management and teamwork – skills that are absolutely essential to master to be successful in communications. We also had the opportunity to apply our skills outside the classroom by taking on projects for organizations and businesses in the community. One of the highlights of the program involved the organization of the Bank Bed Challenge – a fundraising event for the Oakville Hospital Foundation that culminated in a bed race in downtown Oakville. It provided our whole class with a great opportunity to learn while helping the community.

My experiences at Sheridan enabled me to move straight into the communications profession right after I graduated. With a keen interest in politics and public affairs, I gravitated towards government communications and happily landed a job as a speech writer for the Premier of Ontario. It was a really extraordinary experience that tested my writing ability and gave me unique insight into the top issues of the day in provincial politics. From there, I became a communications advisor for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, a role offering the opportunity to develop strategic plans and manage marketing and communications projects.

Government communications is a great place to be if you enjoy politics and public policy, but it is just one of many paths you could take. That’s the wonderful thing about the field of communications – it opens the door to endless possibilities. That means you’re free to follow your passion, wherever that might lead – and Sheridan is a great place to start your journey.

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