It’s never too late to start a new career – Pivoting to PR and Communications at DC

Category: Mature learners

Category: Student Profiles

Student spotlight – CLAUDIA NOSSEIR

After a long break from work to raise her family, Claudia Nosseir found herself at a fork in the road. Looking for a different direction from her original career path of psychology, Claudia decided returning to school was the best option.

Originally from Toronto, she explored many schools and was thrilled when her research led her to Durham College’s PR and Strategic Communications Advanced Diploma.

While her children thought it was funny that she was going back to school, she wanted to show them that it is never too late to achieve whatever you want. The three of them now study together!

We caught up with Claudia to learn more about her program, life and next steps.

Why did you decide to go back to school?

I felt it was the right time to complete a program I had been interested in for many years. I was incredibly intimidated entering a college program at this stage of my life, but the staff at DC were my cheerleading squad. Every time I would feel overwhelmed with the many responsibilities I was juggling, there would be someone there helping me back up and encouraging me to continue – always with a ‘yes you can, and you will’ attitude.

Why did you choose Public Relations and Strategic Communications at DC?

I was very particular about the college I chose and felt that Durham College was the right fit for my professional development. In Toronto, there are many communications options, but I was impressed with the curriculum and field placements the program at DC offered.

Within three months of being at school, I applied to the work-study program. I landed a part-time job – which has led to full-time summer employment – on the social media team in the college’s Communications and Marketing department. I was thrilled to be part of their team as this was the perfect complement to my studies. Just by being in the PR and Strategic Communications program, so many doors have already opened, confirming that I made the right decision to choose this program over others I had considered.

How do you balance school with your busy family life?

It’s not easy! I have many things on the go all the time, and I did struggle with time management at first. So, I took a Time Management webinar through the Student Academic Learning Services, and it provided me with strategies that I have used to be more efficient and it worked.

DC is a one-stop shop for your needs. They know what the students need and provide it. As a mature mom, I was very impressed with the college’s services, such as wellness supports and the financial aid office, which made the transition so seamless for me.

Why PR and Strategic Communications?

I chose PR and Strategic Communications because I had taken on various comms roles, such as writing speeches for others, editing, and presenting, during my previous work and volunteer experiences. I started to see a theme in what others came to me for, so I decided to explore this career path more and further develop the skills I already had.

Would you recommend the PR and Strategic Communications program to others?

Absolutely. I made the correct decision in choosing to take this program at DC. I am entering my second year and can’t wait to learn more. The support system in this program is amazing. My knowledge base for communications has increased significantly in just one year, as has my writing. The courses have been interesting and engaging and the material is very relevant and exciting. In addition, they have an impressive contact list for field placement partners, so I feel secure in the knowledge that I will be working as soon as I complete the program.

What advice do you have for other students who return to school later in life?

As I entered my first year, I saw that some students came in with a range of education, work and life experiences. Durham College embraced them all and offered services to accommodate everyone. Wherever you are in your life, DC has got you.

What advice do you have for others considering going into communications and PR?

Come to Durham College! You won’t be disappointed. It’s a fun, engaging and relevant program. There is a demand out there for communications roles, and from what I have seen so far, this program sets you up for success.