Full-time, in class Public Relations Certificate

Public relations practicum

A full-time public relations practicum will give you three weeks of unpaid, on-the-job training in producing PR products for real-world initiatives.

This is your chance to cement your public relations knowledge and skills, gain invaluable work relations experience, and build important industry contacts.

What will I learn?

During your practicum, you'll learn the following:

  • How to confidently produce communications products such as a news releases, backgrounders, fact sheets, opinion editorials, speeches, and web and social media copy
  • How to work with and accept guidance from senior PR practitioners and project leaders
  • The inner workings of a real-world PR environment

How will I learn?

You'll work under the guidance of a workplace mentor on assigned tasks.

How will I be evaluated?

  • Completion of your practicum
  • Evaluation by practicum coordinator
  • Evaluation by workplace mentor
  • Work assignments

Meet Fawn Mulcahy, Practicum mentor

Frequently asked questions about the practicum

What will I do during my PR practicum?

In addition to getting invaluable work experience that will look great on your résumé, you’ll establish key industry connections that will help you begin your new career. And you won’t just be getting coffee. You’ll build up your portfolio by contributing to real public relations campaigns, materials, and activities.

Your practicum might even lead to a job. Many of our graduates receive job offers from their practicum employers even before they graduate.

Why do I need to do a practicum?

We believe in integrating work with learning because today’s job market is competitive. When it comes to landing your dream job, relevant work experience is non-negotiable.

When will I do my practicum?

You will complete your practicum in weeks seven through nine of the PR program. Generally, you'll work Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

How will I secure my practicum?

You will spend part of your second class in the public relations program reviewing best practices for choosing your practicum placement.

The practicum coordinator will provide you with a list of companies that have approached us for practicum students (between five and 10 companies approach us each term). Placements are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

You may choose from the opportunities we provide or find your own based on your professional interests, but please remember that you are entirely responsible for finding your own practicum.

You will consult with the practicum coordinator before approaching an organization about a placement. Please finalize your placement by the end of the third week of classes.

Once you confirm your placement, you will provide the practicum coordinator with contact information for your mentor, who will coordinate a signed agreement. The practicum coordinator will work with your mentor in evaluating your work performance when you finish your practicum.

Whose responsibility is it to find my practicum placement?

It is your responsibility to secure a practicum, which is mandatory if you wish to graduate with SFU’s Public Relations Certificate.

Where will I do my practicum?

Practicum hosts vary, but in the past, our practicum hosts have included the following:

  • Jive Communications
  • Peak Communicators
  • Popcorn
  • Talk Shop
  • Whitecaps FC
  • Change Heroes
  • Curve Communications
  • LBMG
  • YVR
  • War Room
  • BC Children's Hospital Foundation

Talk Shop Media paid internship opportunity

Recognizing that the future of the PR industry relies on up-and-coming talent, Talk Shop Media has established TalkShopU, a three-month, paid, in-house PR training and development program that equips students with the knowledge, skills and experience they need to work in the industry. Former TalkShopU graduates have gained full-time employment quickly after completing the training program at a variety of agencies and in-house positions across Canada.

Peak Communicators practicum scholarship

Our partner, Peak Communicators, is offering one qualified PR certificate student a $1,000 scholarship to complete his or her three-week practicum at Peak Communicators Vancouver.

Download the Peak Communicators scholarship application form.

Donna Mei-Ling's practicum experience at the UN

I am just settling into my internship at UNESCAP and honestly, could not have asked for more! I began on August, just in time for the 70th Commission.

It was a whirlwind and I learned more in five days than I ever thought possible! I listened to delegates from all over the world discuss the most pressing issues affecting the globe today. I teared up during the ceremony of flags and was in the same room as three prime ministers. Wow!

The expectations in my department for me are particularly high, but I feel I am standing on an extremely solid foundation from the SFU PR program and am ready to accept the challenge and do my best work yet!

I have several work streams from various divisions in the department, ranging from brochures for satellite imaging to social media for the digital divide to video production for the 10th anniversary of the 2004 tsunami. My supervisors and I are hard at work building a matrix to help me manage the demanding schedule of the UN.

THANK YOU for preparing me the opportunity of a lifetime! I couldn't be here without all I learned at SFU!

Please find a few pics attached to show you what I am up to! (My badge, me in the ESCAP Hall, listening to the Russian delegate speak through the translator gadget, and sitting in my first UN Press Conference and the chair I might try to sit in one day!)

--Donna Mei-Ling