6 May 2013
Seventeen University of the Sunshine Coast students are putting into practice the theories learned in their Public Relations course to gain real-life work experience while helping three community groups.
Three teams of Public Relations Event Projects students have been working with AGL Action Rescue Helicopter, Buddies Refugee Support Group and Bloomhill Cancer Help to hold fundraising and awareness events in May.
USC Senior Lecturer in Public Relations Dr Umi Khattab said the work-integrated program allowed the students to apply concepts learned in earlier courses, work with actual clients and develop ideas supervised by tutors who were industry practitioners.
“We run this compulsory course every semester and most clients are from not-for-profit or non-government organisations, so there is benefit to the community as well as our students,” Dr Khattab said.
“The students must work from scratch: brainstorming and developing an idea; doing fieldwork and meeting with clients; and working with a small budget provided by USC.
“Students enjoy the course but it’s stressful because they want to succeed in meeting client expectations. Their projects involve fundraising, sponsorship or other community work and they must try to get publicity and participation.”
She said other benefits included students gaining employment based on the skills they displayed during the work placement.
The upcoming student-organised events are:
The USC tutors are Course Coordinator Sarah Pye from Kids Welcome, Anne Lawrence from Boardroom Business and Peppi Bueti from Queensland Advertising.
— Julie Schomberg