By Hayley Dechaine, Mount Royal University PR student
Without even the slightest hesitation, Shelly-Ann Frederic, proclaimed, “Oh my gosh, I loved this program!”
Frederic graduated from Mount Royal University’s public relations program in 2009; initially, she was unsure about whether she should attend Mount Royal University’s program or University of Calgary’s. After careful consideration, she “specifically chose Mount Royal for a few various reasons: one was because of the smaller class sizes, compared to the University of Calgary; two was the internship opportunities.”
The internship opportunities available through Mount Royal’s program were especially important to Frederic, “To me, to get that practical hands on experience and not just the theoretical side of things, I felt like [they] really set me up for entering into the workforce.”
Frederic also received a Conflict Resolution Extension Certificate from Mount Royal University, which became useful with her recent work at TC Energy on the Keystone XL Pipeline project. Because the project was a bit contentious with a lot of opposition, Frederic was “kind of on the front lines dealing with stakeholders that had questions or concerns with the project.”
Frederic brings over 10 years of diverse marketing and communications experience to the ever-changing industry. She adds, “The one thing that I would honestly say that I love about communications is that there is no typical work day, you never come in and do the exact same thing over and over.”
Frederic described a recent example about an incident on the Keystone XL Pipeline. She explained that, “you could anticipate that you’re going in on an average day and all of a sudden, potentially you end up dealing with some sort of crisis, or a project has kind of gone off the rails and … is now meaning to become your priority.”
In addition to balancing changes in the workday, Frederic also explains the public relations industry is changing as well. “I’ve [also] definitely noticed a huge technology change. I mean the technology tools that are now available, it’s changed the way that we communicate with our employees and also with our stakeholders and is definitely something that I’ve noticed that I’m even trying to catch up on in my career,” said Frederic.
Frederic has experience in the financial industry, agriculture sector, and currently in the oil and gas pipeline business. She made clear that she never wants to be “pigeonholed” in her career and is very interested in working in the tourism and airline industry next. “I think a job is what it is that you make of it and ensuring that you have a strong manager or leader, I should say, that you’re actually able to learn from. I think those are the things I kind of look for that I’m constantly growing in my career and challenging myself.”
With Frederic’s many years of experience, she recommended that up and coming PR professionals get involved in either IABC or CPRS to have a successful career in public relations.