Happy – employed graduates!

image1One of the pleasures of the mentoring job we do at Conestoga is running into graduates and learning about what they are doing.   I recently caught up with graduate Lindsay Eden (on the right) who has just started in the marketing department at Sunlife in Kitchener.  She is also implementing the IMC plan she developed for her placement employer while at school.

She told me that since she, and fellow graduate Katie Grauer (on the left) who is also working in the marketing department at Sunlife, missed their June graduation ceremony, they decided to have a ‘graduation’ photo taken with their certificates in front of Sunlife.

Congratulations to both as they launch their careers!



Business Partnerships at Conestoga

Students in the IMC program benefit from the experiential learning that happens when business clients bring their real challenges and opportunities to the classroom.

There are two different ways that business can have an integrated marketing communications plan created – the process is explained in a video produced this summer by technologists and students on internships with the School of Media + Design.

Check out the video to learn about how your business could become involved.

Camera, lights, action at Conestoga

School may be out for most post-secondary students, but the work and learning continues at Conestoga.

Student interns, under the guidance of full-time technologists and faculty in the School of Media and Design, are learning lots about video production and meeting the needs of a client as they help the IMC program co-ordinator bring a video to life.

The video is about the practicum experience that students earn in the IMC program when a business partners with faculty to provide real world challenges to solve.  The script outlines the two different ways that a business can become involved and receive a fully implementable integrated marketing communications plan as part of the deal. (hint: email the IMC co-ordinator at kdenstedt@conestogac.on.ca to ask about this!)

When it’s completed, the video will be placed on the college website and the IMC program webblog.

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Don’t wish them luck!

In her convocation address to Conestoga graduates, alumnus Rachel Schoutsen, now National Weather Anchor for @WeatherNetwork, refused to wish the graduates  “good luck.”


A happy day for faculty, Kim Denstedt (centre), with, from left: Chris Viana, Riani DeWet, Scott Waddington and Michele Aubin – 2015 IMC Graduates.

Instead, she borrowed a phrase from Oprah that suggests luck is “preparation meeting the moment of opportunity.” She told the grads that with their college education, they were prepared – it was up to them to recognize and seize the opportunities that would come their way.

She also noted that having a clear goal in mind can also help pave the way to future success. Since childhood, it was her dream to report the weather!

It was a great message at the 47th annual convocation held at Bingeman’s for School of Media and Design grads on June 10.

For faculty, it is a privilege to see the students they have guided and mentored, walk across the stage to collect what they have worked hard to earn.


Successful Green at Work

The IMC class engaged more than 700 visitors to Fairview Park Mall on Saturday, March 28, at an event designed to raise awareness about environmental practices at home, at work, and on the go.

Green is the New Black was the theme.

Student teams had to pitch ideas to Mall Marketing Manager Leah Landriault as part of their event and project management classes.  Green at Work is an initiative of Cadillac Fairview Inc. and encourages mall tenants to participate in environmentally sustainable activities.

The student learning covered many areas, including how to meet client expectations, how to get along with other members of the team, how to pull many different ideas together into one cohesive plan, how to engage the public at an event, how to manage contest winner phone calls, how to set up and take down multiple booths, how to talk to the public about environmental concerns (and know your stuff!), how to create imaginative booth attractions on a minimal budget, how to manage the budget, how to design and co-ordinate printing of collateral material.. and much more!

All photos below are courtesy of Kali Caudle, Snap KW Newspaper.

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Fundraising success

Grand River Hospital Foundation has been able to purchase six new defibrillators, thanks to the support of an IMC student fundraiser held in February.

The team of students set up a booth at the Kitchener Farmer’s Market to sell Valentines and to encourage people to sign heart-shaped decals with messages of encouragement and get well wishes for patients in the hospital.

Defibrillators are used on “crash carts” across the hospital and are used to restore normal heart rhythms. Nancy Hewat, Executive Director of the hospital foundation, sent a letter of thanks to the team: “On behalf of the many patients who will benefit from this life-saving technology, thank you for your generous support.”

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Other organizations to benefit from student fundraisers included The Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington Dufferin, and the Humane Society.

The events are assignments in the event and project management course IMC students take in second semester.

Successful media pitches

In second semester students in the IMC program learn how to pitch business stories to the media – something that is part art and part science. Knowing what news angles will catch the editor’s attention is key to the challenge.

This year two members of the class have been successful.

Riani deWet pitched a story about Winterloo’s fundraising via crowdsourcing, a unique way for a not-for-profit to raise funds, which was featured in the local section on Feb. 9. Read the story at http://www.therecord.com/news-story/5330963-winterloo-festival-crowd-funds-to-keep-ice-slide-attraction/

Nina Vasic pitched a story about a Cambridge automation company, TriTed Innovation Inc., that began with two partners in the depth of the 2008 recession and has grown to employ 20 people.   Read the story from the Record’s March 4 issue at http://www.therecord.com/news-story/5458440-hard-work-pays-off-for-cambridge-automation-company/

REAP says thanks for IMC presentation

Joy Smith of REAP Operations (and incidentally a Conestoga PR grad herself) sent the following message to IMC program co-ordinator, Kim Denstedt:  “I just wanted to thank you, Sarah, Riani, and Nicole for coming out to speak at the Felt Lab last Friday. I’ve written a Tumblr blog post about it, and I  wanted to share it with you, in case you wanted to share it with your networks to show them what you’ve been doing recently: http://thereapfeltlab.tumblr.com/

So, check out Joy’s posting and pictures and then check out her blog for information about the kind of presentations that are featured at REAP’s  Lunch and Learns every Friday noon hour.  While many are of a technical nature, this particular IMC presentation focused on marketing communications.

It was a pleasure to present with Nicole (2013 IMC grad), Sarah (2014 IMC grad) and Riani (2015 IMC grad candidate).

REAP to host IMC presentation on Jan. 16

REAP in St. Jacobs is hosting IMC Professor Kim Denstedt and a panel of IMC graduates who will discuss Integrated Marketing Communications in the 21st Century on Jan. 16.  Featuring both time-honoured and digital experience, the presentation will encourage attendees to look carefully at what they are selling, who they are selling to, and how to integrate their marketing communications plans. Register here!