Grace Loftus MPRINZ, Communications Advisor, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Last year I participated in the PRINZ Accreditation in Public Relations programme (APR). I found it a great experience as a mid-level practitioner to learn about those areas of public relations I had not had the opportunity to work in during my career.
I learned on completion of my APR that I would be able to cross-credit it towards an Open Polytechnic Bachelor of Applied Science (with or without a Communication major), Bachelor of Arts (with or without a Communication major), Certificate in Public Relations and Communication Management, or a Diploma in Public Relations and Communication Management.
I decided to start with the Certificate in Public Relations and Communication Management as it was something I had capacity to do over a few months alongside my day-to-day work. I have now become the first student in New Zealand to complete the APR and Open Polytechnic cross-credit programme.
Distance learning has really helped me with my time management skills and my work/life balance. I also liked the interaction with lecturers and other students outside of traditional face-to-face meetings.
The business communication course I completed from the Open Polytechnic to gain the Certificate in Public Relations and Communication Management has also given me an additional perspective on my day-to-day work. I am now more mindful of how communication should work in an organisation and the need for staff to have a say in what goes on in the business.
I’ve really enjoyed the need to be more aware of what I do with my time and how to successfully juggle competing priorities – work, study, social activities etc. Having to work and study at the same time, as well as work collaboratively with other people from different cultures, was a real eye-opener for me. I loved it.
I would advise anyone wondering what to do next, to go for it.