Today kicked off a partnership between The City of Kingston and St. Lawrence College’s (SLC) School of Business to give emerging professionals real-life experience, while supporting City projects and services.
Both SLC’s Advertising/Marketing Communications (AMC) diploma program and graduate certificate program in Digital Marketing Communications (DMC) have culminating capstone courses where students work in a simulated Ad Agency situation. The students will create integrated marketing and communications plans for a number of City initiatives including staff recruitment, museum attendance, common bylaw infractions and waste collection education for seniors as part of a final project prior to graduation.
“For more than 15 years, our students have spent their final semester outside of the normal learning environment, and while our entire program is more experiential and skills-based than the traditional “text and test” model, this semester sees the students working in shifts for real community clients, with faculty acting as agency supervisors and coaches rather than lecturers,” says Kathy Patterson, program coordinator of SLC’s AMC program. “Over the years, we have built integrated marketing communications plans and content for more than 100 Kingston businesses and organizations.”
The City has selected marketing opportunities within its departments that will benefit from skilled AMC and DMC students. “We want to encourage these marketing and communications students to live, work and play in Kingston,” states Craig Desjardins, Acting Commissioner, Corporate Services. “We hope to support these skilled students to understand the work that we do as a municipality and work collaboratively to find solutions to some of our marketing challenges. This experience will hopefully demonstrate to these future grads that Kingston is a great place to start their marketing careers.”
“We use this ‘agency’ capstone experience as one of the final stepping stones into the workforce,” says Laura Kittner, program coordinator and faculty member of DMC. “Our students will further develop skills and lessons in core marketing theory as they work directly with community business and internal City departments to complete marketing communications projects that solve real marketing problems. This agency experience, coupled with a six-week work placement before graduation, empowers our students with job ready skills that lower the learning curve once in industry. This makes our students highly employable.”