Hello! My name is Rashmi Gunatilake and I am currently a 4th year Media and Communications major at Brock University!
Media has always been a big part of my life and I think I knew from a pretty young age that it was something I would want to pursue as I got older. In grade 8 we got to pick certain subjects that we would want to continue into high school, and Media Studies was one of those subjects. Since then, it really has been all I’ve wanted to pursue. I have been extremely lucky to continue that education at Brock and been able to apply my knowledge to my internship this year as part of our experiential learning course.
There is a lot of creativity that comes with media and communications and that has always interested me. In any field in the industry whether it’s marketing, social media, journalism, advertising, public relations etc. creativity plays a huge role in all of them. That was something that pushed me into continuing my education in communication studies.
As my final year comes to an end, I’m trying to fit in as many experiences as I can. Being an intern for myNiagara Online has given me the chance to further my experience in my field of interest but it’s also given me some Canadian experience. As an international student, I have been exposed to some media experience but gaining that experience in Canada is extremely valuable for my future. By interning with myNiagara Online I have been shown the structure of Canadian businesses which is something that is going to benefit me greatly once I transition into the workforce. Doing digital media work for myNiagara Online has given me the perfect platform for me to start thinking further into my career and what fields in media communications I would want to pursue.
One of the biggest appeals of working with myNiagara Online is the community aspect. As an international student I’ve often felt like an outsider looking in but by working for myNiagara I feel as though I am learning so much about the community I’ve lived in for the past 4 years. Along with being community-based and focused on promoting local businesses, myNiagara assists with helping me further my personal interests and goals. Social media and content writing has always been an objective of mine to continue and this internship has given me the platform to experiment with those interests. COVID has definitely altered what I imagined my final year of university to be.
I completed all of last semester back home in Sri Lanka. Completing my classes and my internship from a whole other time zone was challenging to say the least, but it taught me how to adapt and prioritize situations. Cathy Berkhout-Bosse and Jade Jolicoeur who I work alongside this year have both been incredibly helpful in assisting me when needed. It has made working from back home a lot simpler, which I am unbelievably thankful for.
While I try to make the most of my last year of university as much as COVID permits, working for myNiagara Online is one experience of my whole university career that I know I will be able to take into the ‘real’ world with me. It has given me a platform to apply what I have learnt in many of my courses to real situations while also teaching me new things about myself and the industry I want to work in. I look forward to seeing where this last semester will take me!