Campus Celebrity: Andreia McLean

Meet Andreia, a campus celebrity close to HerCampus’ heart and an alumni taking Toronto by storm! 

Major: Psychology

Minors: Communications & Philosophy

Year of Graduation: 2015

Organizations at Laurier: Laurier Place House Council, Inter Residence Council, Alpha Phi, and obviously Her Campus Wilfrid Laurier!

 

via. andreiavanessaa : World MasterCard Fasion Week meeting Paul Mason, surreal.

What is your current job title and description?

I currently have two jobs in Toronto. I am assisting with PR/Marketing for a very small company called Three Design – you definitely want to follow @d3sign_to on Instagram during Toronto Fashion Week in October! I am helping to revamp the direction of the website and create new strategies for online reach and sales growth. Three Design has worked on some incredibly high profile events since I started in February including the MMVAs, the National Ballet of Canada’s Mad Hot Ballet Gala, some high profile weddings, and Toronto Fashion Week!

My second job is a contract position with Entertainment One for the duration of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) which is going great! I am mostly cooped up in an office in a nearby hotel working on lists and running things to people, but it is really incredible to be so close to the action. I brushed shoulders with some notable celebs already and they are all absurdly good looking – I swear Hollywood is so much less photoshopped than I ever thought!

What are some of your recent achievements or projects since graduation?

I am probably most excited by all the behind-the-scenes work I’ve been doing. It’s been a lot of work; I don’t think most people realize how unglamorous the world of PR is, but if you’re into it then it’s the most exciting thing! I am starting a Toronto Lifestyle Blog in the fall – I bought the domain and I am just getting things together before launching, so stay tuned. If you want to know when it launches, follow @the.647 on Instagram!

via. andreiavanessaa : Ending out Fashion Week with a bang, Chantelle Winnie.

You’re life seems so Carrie Bradshaw-esque! What advice would you give students that want to get into Public Relations and/or blogging?

Work hard. Connect with people while they surround you – literally everyone. Express interest in what other people’s life goals are and help them where you can. School is great, internships are wonderful, but the connections you make in university while you are surrounded by ambitious, intelligent, future successful people. That goes for any field you aspire to enter. Take advantage of any alumni you can network with; we are out there in the real world and often someone gave us a leg up, so when we can, we are more than happy to help out other new grads! For PR specifically, I recommend interning as early as possible – you don’t need to be part of the co-op program to get an internship. I volunteered in high school for a magazine for their live events and, by the time I reached university, it had turned into an internship that lasted six years! The experience I got during the internship has been incredibly valuable in almost every situation I have encountered in my new positions. So volunteer, intern, and network like crazy and you’ll be set by graduation! For blogging specifically, I am definitely no expert, but just do it. Blog every day, twice a day, about something you are passionate about. Not only will this potentially build a following if that is your goal, but you will hone your writing skills like crazy.

How long did it take you to find your job, and do you have any helpful suggestions for seniors who are graduating this year?

I found my job through a wonderful girl I met in Greek Life. She is in a different sorority, but I made an effort to get involved in inter-Greek activities and made some amazing friends this way. She introduced me to a family member of hers who works for Entertainment One who wasn’t hiring at the moment, but she had a friend who owns Three Design who was looking for someone to help with Fashion Week. Obviously, I jumped on this opportunity and got the job! Recently, Entertainment One started looking for help for TIFF specifically, and I was more than happy to help out. Again, I cannot stress the importance of networking and helping others out where you can.

I ended up being very lucky when I graduated, not only with the opportunities that I found and was able to take advantage of, but with my certainty of the direction I wanted to go in. I think many grads struggle with what they want to do with their lives and where they want to be in five years. The best thing you can do to prepare against this is explore – the worst that could happen is you’ve volunteered for something you’re not so into, or interned in an environment that you don’t love. Finding out what you don’t like and what you don’t want to do is a really great way to find out what you do love and what you do want to do!

Who or what would you consider a vital part to your success?

I would like to think that we make our own success by seizing the opportunities we are presented with. I learned in high school to say ‘yes’ to any and every opportunity that sounded like a good experience. In grade ten or eleven, a friend of mine got an internship at Faze Magazine in Toronto and asked the girls if we wanted to come volunteer. It sounded fun, so I went and helped out with prizing for the raffle. It turned into a regular volunteer position and eventually into a three year internship. That sounds long, but it was so long, I wanted to stay! I learned so much and the editor, Lorraine, provided me with so many ridiculous opportunities like talent handling and running the VIP areas at the Live Events – it was ‘work’, but not really. Of course, another opportunity that popped up that I jumped on was founding our chapter of Her Campus! When Chelsea came to me and said, “You do magazine things – let’s do this together!” I said, “Tell me more!” You can see how that worked out nicely. I would definitely attribute any success I have found thus far to seizing opportunities however big or small they seemed at the time. A small one-night volunteer position could turn you on to a dream career.

What do you miss about Laurier?

I miss Laurier so much more than I thought I would! I miss the community, I definitely miss the Get Involved Fair – probably one of my favourite days of the year - and I miss how involved everyone is constantly. I also miss Conestoga Mall, which employed me in FIVE different stores and funded my shoe addiction for five years. Laurier is this incredible place where everyone is friendly and engaging, and you can find your new best friend in the concourse after one conversation or during Recruitment for a sorority. I have to say though, Laurier is basically taking over downtown – I see a minimum of two Laurier grads every single day – and we all STILL wear our gold and purple! It is still great to be a Laurier Golden Hawk.

via. andreiavanessaa : MMVA's

What are some things you’d like to share about life after college?

Staying in touch with friends and having a life when you don’t live in a 3-block radius is hard. I really struggled with it at first. Luckily, I had a sorority alumni association that I joined and that gave me a leg up and a few really good friends in the city. Keeping in touch with people is a skill that takes work for most of us. Work on that skill while it’s still easy! I already knew this, but living downtown has reassured me that Toronto is the best city ever and I’m so excited to rediscover it from a new perspective. Living where everything is happening is a wonderful experience and I highly recommend it.

Now that you’ve experienced life in the big city, what is the one thing you wish you could tell new graduates coming from smaller university towns that are interested in making the big move?

I think the most important thing when making the move to the big city is to be open to new experiences. As with anything in life, you don’t know what you don’t know. When friends come to visit and they’re scared of the subway, or overwhelmed by the height of the CN Tower, or confused as to why the person who bumped into them didn’t say sorry… those are all things to be expected in a large city packed with people. I find the most successful individuals are the ones who embrace it; go on the subway alone just to see where you end up – that is a sure sign of future success and happiness in the city!

Thank you to Andreia for taking time out of her Carrie Bradshaw-esque life to chat with us! We wish you all the best and can't wait to see what you accomplish. First stop Toronto, next stop the WORLD!