My name is Lexie B. Stevenson; I am Kwantlen Polytechnic University student currently graduating from the Public Relations diploma program. The capstone course of the program is the practicum, a four-week opportunity to gain hands on experience in the field of communications.
When I was brainstorming companies and organizations to work for, The Vancouver Aquarium®, an Ocean Wise® Initiative, was the first to pop into my head. After all, I had already made the organization a focus of many of my school projects. I admired Ocean Wise’s vision of creating a future where our oceans are healthy and flourishing. And, due to my fondness for animals, I was already a strong supporter of the critical marine animal rehabilitation and conservation work that takes place at the Vancouver Aquarium. Determined, I eventually landed an interview.
The next thing I knew, I was sitting at my desk in the Vancouver Aquarium’s communication’s office, cracking down on my first big project.
My experience as a communications practicum student at the Vancouver Aquarium and Ocean Wise has been instrumental in exercising and growing my skills as a future public relations professional. I’ve been given the tools and support needed in order for me to be successful in my work and I’ve been greeted by incredibly kind and inclusive colleagues. Since day one, I have been treated like a long-time member of the organization by the both staff and volunteers both in and out the communications office. This warm environment had left me feeling a part of something truly stellar.
I’ve learned and done so much in my time here. I’ve crafted press releases, updated media kits, learned how to utilize a brands voice and create engaging social media posts, just to name a few. I’ve worked with different departments and colleagues, which has given me a better understanding of all the important work that the Vancouver Aquarium and Ocean Wise does for the protection of our oceans and marine wildlife. Through this, I had the realization that just like that very ocean, there truly is more going on beneath the surface of Ocean Wise than you may expect.
Overall, my practicum experience here at the Vancouver Aquarium and Ocean Wise has been truly informative, inspiring, and worthwhile. It has given me a purpose I didn’t know I needed, a purpose to protect our oceans and marine wildlife in any way that I could.
There’s an excellent bonus of working here, too. While I get to work on crucial pieces of work related to my career, I also get to spend every morning with a brisk walk around the seawall and a stop to say ‘hello’ to my favourite otters, Hardy and Rialto, who always put a smile on my face.