Why Conestoga and PR Was the Right Choice for Me…

Conestoga College - Jasmine Marinelli
Jasmine – 1st year Public Relations student at Conestoga College

My whole entire life I have grown up around media. I would sit at the kitchen table and listen to my Mom read over articles in the newspaper, and curse about certain ad’s not being in the right place. My Mom worked as the circulation sales manager for the Waterloo Region Record for about 13 years. That was not only her life but mine as well. I grew up wanting to do exactly what my mom does, and I grew up wanting to be exactly like her, because she was and still to this day is my idol.

Before I decided to go to Conestoga I wanted to make sure that public relations was the right program for me. I had to consider all options. Marketing was my first choice, then something regarding human resources and then I looked at some public relation courses. I examined and inspected every university program that had to do with something similar to Public Relations, but just decided I wasn’t a university kind of girl. I wanted an education where I would be given hands-on experiences. Where I was able to have more than just a 5-minute conversation with my prof, and where my prof actually knew my name.

University and college are two completely different types of schooling. I was the only one out of my friend group to go to college. I’ve been at Conestoga for almost two months now and I have come to the conclusion that college is very underrated. I knew from the beginning I would get a bit of slack from my friends the minute I accepted my offer to Conestoga. I got a lot of Why didn’t you choose Guelph? Or Why are you going to college? But I was never ashamed of choosing Conestoga over any university I could have gone to.

College gives you so many options it’s unbelievable. Instead of sitting at the back of a lecture room alongside 1000 other students, I’m sitting in a classroom with about 22-25 students. And guess what? I’m going to graduate in 4 years with a degree under my belt, as well as 3 co-op work terms. For half the price I would pay if I were in university. Now, I’m not bashing university at all. I’m simply just stating how amazing Conestoga is and their options for post-secondary schooling are. The minute I heard I would be getting a degree as well as the opportunity to complete co-op I was ecstatic.

At Conestoga we have a great gym, phenomenal support and staff, as well as great programs for anyone and everyone to join. And the opportunities at Conestoga College are endless.

I know it’s around the time for grade 12s to start looking at post-secondary options and I would vouch for Conestoga any day. Not only for my program but for a lot of others too… Conestoga is a great choice. Just a piece of advice to those future students… Do some research, you never know where or what program you’ll choice. It’s a big decision but feel free to visit the Conestoga College website and look up some programs you’d be interested in!

Find out more about the Bachelor of Public Relations program 

Why you should attend the Leadership Conference

CSI Shirt Photo
Why you should attend the Leadership Conference – Chrissy

I am sure you have heard about Conestoga Student Inc.’s Leadership Conference before. When the event starts creeping up on the calendar, information can be found all over Conestoga College. The Leadership Conference is a two day conference that is held annually during the fall semester. Students are invited to evolve their leadership skills in fun and interactive ways. Although you might feel like you have heard everything about the leadership conference and that it will not be beneficial for you, trust me, it is a great experience that everyone should try at least once. Let me tell you why:

  1. The speakers are incredible – seriously

Everyone always says that the speakers are amazing and life changing, but genuinely, they really are. Delatorro McNeal and James Robilotta have been attending the Leadership Conference for the past few years and I can honestly say their sessions helped me think of leadership differently. James Robilotta actually had just released a new book the year I went and provided all the students with a free copy. Not only were his sessions eye opening, his book was incredibly personal and thought provoking. Delatorro has a way with crowds that I have never experienced with another speaker before. It truly is a once in a lifetime experience to hear them speak.

  1. The activities challenge you and are interactive

The year I went, we had an activity where we had to get through a desert with a team of people we had just met. Each person had a role and a goal of getting through the desert. We were given a certain amount of fake money and had limited time to make decisions. It inspired me to become a leader and sparked something in myself that I had never seen before. Delatorro’s personal and heart-warming activities had me crying more than I would like to admit. Not only was it great for learning how to be a better leader, it was an incredible connecting experience with a bunch of people I had never met before. The conference was worth it just for that activity.

  1. CCR Recognition, official certificate and great food

For attending the conference you receive CCR (Co-Curricular Record) recognition, an official certificate for your professional portfolio and the conference features delicious meals and snacks. The CCR is a great way to show employers how you were involved during your school years. It also shows the skills and personal growth areas students gain as a result of their co-curricular efforts. Professionals actually love to see official certificates that you have gained during your education because it shows that you went above and beyond what you are required to do and leadership is incredibly important in any job position. Lastly, the conference had a breakfast, lunch and two snacks each day and are always super delightful.

I truly hope that this post changes your mind if you were thinking about not attending the Leadership Conference. It really is a great event, even if you only try it once. Trust me, you will get your money’s worth.

Students can buy tickets at their CSI Service Hub for $30 and the conference is October 14th and 15th


A Week Full of “Firsts” – Jasmine

A Week Full of “Firsts”
Jasmine – 1st year Public Relations student at Conestoga College

This past week for me has been full of stress, anxiety and a lot of running around. I experienced a lot of firsts this week; my very first assignment was due, a formal test and an essay assignment.  I’ve finally surpassed a milestone in my college career and boy was it ever tough. I officially was able to learn what time management skills were and let me tell you that is something I definitely need to get better at.

My first assignment was given to me about last week, it was to re-design a Department of Finance Canada document to make it more appealing to a potential client. This was definitely one of the most interesting and rather fun assignments I’ve ever had to do. It took me five tries, five hours and five days to complete which is a relatively long time. I consider myself a perfectionist when it comes to assignments so I knew going into it that it would probably take me twice as long as the average student to finish. If you are someone like me that leaves things to the last minute because you’re lazy, or suffer from procrastination then you have got to get out of that habit in order to succeed in college. And recognizing that early is what will help you.

Last week in my business management course, we were told that we would be having our first test the following week, and we only had one class to review some of the material. As I sat in the class during review time, reading the list of content to study I came to the conclusion that it is basically every single chapter we have read. This caused me a lot of stress because in high school things were more direct, I knew exactly what to study and what the layout of the test would be. I tried my best to study every night but I felt a bit overwhelmed with everything being due roughly around the same time. We were all required to download a software that locks your computers during a test. Which is actually pretty cool because I’ve never wrote a test on a computer before. Hopefully I did well considering the test was worth %15 of my whole grade.

Lastly, my first essay… I never liked writing essays back in high school and I can tell you now it definitely won’t be my favourite part of college lol. The essay’s in college are really complicated and more work than what it was like in high school. I have started my introduction so far and I’m already stumped on what else to write. Luckily, we have many resources that can help with writing an essay, we have a peer editing class next week which is pretty cool considering in high school – at least mine – the teachers never gave us that class time. But, wish me luck because this is also worth a significant amount of mark.

A piece of advice to those going into post-secondary… read all of the chapters assigned to you, take notes in class and take notes during your readings, it will help you a lot when it comes time to study for a test or an exam. Also, if you need help or are experiencing lots of stress talk to your teachers they are great outlets and will help you a lot along the way. Make sure you take every assignment, test or presentation seriously and try your best because it’s not like high school good marks don’t come easily, you have to work hard for it. As well as a majority of things due are worth a large portion of your mark so they matter a lot.

Good luck to everyone in school and I will let you know further about some of the more exciting things I have experienced at Conestoga on my next blog… C ya 😊

The Top 6 Things I wish I knew about Conestoga College before I started

CSI Shirt PhotoThere are a few things I wish I knew before starting at Conestoga College that would have made me feel a little bit more prepared. Here is my list for you to read so that you hopefully have more knowledge than the average College go-er!

  1. How many Work Study positions there are – There are so many job positions across Conestoga College that I did not realize in my first year. Conestoga Students Inc., is a very popular one for students wanting to get extra money throughout the year that I definitely recommend.
  2. MyCareer – Speaking of jobs, I wish I knew about MyCareer before starting Conestoga College. If you do not know, MyCareer is Conestoga’s career portal. They post a ton of job postings and career related events on the student tool. I believe Alumni’s can use it as well! I have found some of my jobs through MyCareer and I did not even realize it existed till my second year! Definitely stay updated on MyCareer.
  3. Recreation Centre Programs – When I first started Conestoga College, I though intramurals were the only options regarding fitness, but the Recreation Centre actually offers a lot more than just that. They have fitness classes such as Zumba, yoga, cycle and more and fitness related events such as Hoops for Halloween, fitness challenges and Yoga on the Lawn.
  4. Location, location, location – I really wish that I had visited Conestoga more than once before I had to start full time studies. My very first day I made it to class with one minute to spare because I was so lost. I highly encourage practicing finding your parking location or bus routes before the first day. Also, go into the college before the first day and find all of your classes. This will help you tremendously, trust me.
  5. How much is included in the CSI Health Plan – During my first two years, I decided to opt out of the CSI Health Plan because I thought I was covered under my parent’s coverage. Turns out, I was not covered and needed the CSI Health Plan, but once you opt out, you cannot opt back in until you start a new program. (At least, that is what I was told, it might have changed, but I am not a 100% sure. If you have any questions about the health plan, definitely ask the incredible team at CSI). I also did not even realize that travel insurance is included in the health plan! This is incredibly useful if you are planning a study week trip!
  6. Food Options – While you are practicing the bus routes and finding your classes, check out the different food options that Conestoga offers. I always would try to bring a lunch as much as possible to try to save money, but Conestoga has a lot of delicious options and can actually end up saving you money with your One Card.

My First Week at Conestoga

Conestoga College - Jasmine Marinelli
Jasmine – 1st year Public Relations student at Conestoga College

Hey guys If you’re reading this my name is Jasmine, and I’m currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Public Relations degree program at Conestoga. I started at Conestoga in the beginning of September and boy was it ever one of the scariest things I’ve ever had to do. Just like leaving a team to join another or switching jobs it’s hard to transition into something new in your life. I’ve been to Conestoga multiple times for open houses, orientation, soccer practices and games but not until now have I actually step foot in it as a student. High school and college are completely different and that’s what I’m slowly starting to figure out now.

My first day of college was definitely scary. Prior to my first day I briefly checked out where my parking lot was, however on my first day all of that knowledge was lost. I found myself looking through all the parking lots trying to find where the blue lot is. And let me tell you, driving in Conestoga’s parking lots are tricky, there are so many people walking, traffic lines and absolutely no spots relatively close to where your classes are – unless you get lucky. It took me approximately 20 minutes to find my classroom and then I quickly realized that I was in the wrong class when I wasn’t on the attendance list. This was pretty embarrassing but a great learning lesson to always double check where and when your classes are haha. Other than that, I had an amazing day and I met a lot of great people as well as I got to know my teachers, courses and the school a bit better.

Athletics have been a passion of mine ever since I was a little girl.  They de-stress me and keep me slightly sane, which I figured I’d need in my life throughout college. I really thought it was necessary to get involved in the school as best as I could. Which led me to decide to attend a couple of soccer tryouts throughout the first week for the varsity team. Fortunately, I made the team and that’s when my official college experience had begun. Soccer is a huge commitment just as much as schoolwork and time management is something that I’m going to have to work on in order to be able to effectively prioritize.

I’m proud to say that I’m starting off my public relations future on the right note. Making videos of my first week, experiences I have had in the college and the life of being a soccer player has increased my knowledge of what it is like to be a vlogger. Being a social media ambassador has me always watching out for the next new trends around campus and what interesting booths and activities are going on. I’m very excited to continue this opportunity and couldn’t be happier with the way my first few weeks of school have gone.

Some tips for future students are:

  1. If you are lazy like me make sure you come to school 20-30 minutes before your first class so you can actually find a parking spot close to your class.
  2. Find your classrooms prior to your actual class so you’re not late or sitting in the wrong class for part of your day.
  3. Join anything and everything – as long as you can successfully prioritize properly and keep on track with school… college is fun!!!!
  4. Make friends and get to know the people in your classes as well as the teachers, networking is great and can be something you rely on in the future.