Start Your Story: Why Avery Nicholson Points to the MMJC Program for her Career Success

By Kathleen Brown-Blake

Avery's hometown: Blenheim, Ontario

Avery Nicholson credits the MMJC program for preparing her to work in the complicated public relations industry, saying "They are staying on top of trends and [got] me prepared and [allowed me] to think really critically about the media".

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Avery Nicholson discovered her love for storytelling when she arrived at Western for her undergraduate degree. She graduated with a degree in Media, Information and Technoculture (MIT), though she wanted to build on her experience in media before she joined the workforce. To hone her practical experience, she returned to Western to pursue a Master of Media in Journalism & Communication (MMJC) degree.

The MMJC program gave Avery a well-rounded education about the media, with coursework and projects ranging from long-form journalism to writing press releases and more. She believes this broad coverage of topics is reflective of the overlap between journalism and public relations.

“It was really cohesive in terms of how the industry is going,” she said. “It’s important to keep your options open because the industries are so intertwined.”

Avery said the overlapping coursework gave her an edge that other programs couldn’t provide. “[The program] allowed me to get a step up in the industry,” she said.

But it wasn’t all hard work. During her time at MMJC, Avery made heart-warming memories, forming close relationships with her classmates while getting practical experience. One such memory is when she and a classmate had an ongoing contest to see who could incorporate the best puns in their project headlines. “He always won, “she laughed as she told the story.

“I made wonderful friends and colleagues and we still work together. It gave me a great network of people to rely on.”

Now living in Vancouver, B.C., Avery uses the skills she learned in the MMJC program every day in her role as an Account and Digital Lead for Avenue PR. She acts as the PR agency’s copyeditor and represents clients in the lifestyle and travel industries, including JW Marriot, the DOUGLAS, AG Hair and Livingspace. In this role, she creates and implements public relations plans, manages social media accounts, creates content and acts as the intermediary between her clients and the media. This often entails drafting and pitching stories for her clients to journalists and magazine editors.

Fun Fact

She recently started a podcast with her roommates called "No Bras on Sunday," where they hang out in sweatpants, drink wine, and discuss life.

Pointing to the MMJC program for her success, Avery said, “I wouldn’t be able to do my job in PR without my knowledge of how to be a journalist, what journalists do, how journalists write things.” She recommends students take both journalism and communications courses to be competitive, regardless of the industry they intend to pursue.

The MMJC program has allowed many students to launch successful careers in journalism, communications, marketing and other media-focused industries. If you’re interested in starting your media career, apply to Western’s MMJC program to Start Your Story!

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Profiles in the Start Your Story blog are written by students in the Master of Media in Journalism & Communication program, who are enrolled in MMJC 9604 - Professional Writing.