Student/Early Career

About the IABC Student/Early Career Shared Interest Group

IABC’s Student and Early Career Professional Shared Interest Group provides opportunities, resources and support to college students and early professionals with the goal of enhancing career readiness and instilling a life-long passion for the field. This initiative takes inspiration and action from its members who assume volunteer leadership roles to facilitate networking, produce programs, promote volunteerism and provide access to experienced professionals. 

Upcoming Events/Conversations

Event posting coming soon. 

About Our Student and Early Career Professional SIG Leaders

Alexandra Hichel
SIG Lead

Alexandra Hichel is director of recruitment & communications for the College of Liberal Arts & Education at University of Detroit Mercy. She has more than 20 years' experience in internal and external communication, website development and photography. She also serves as an adjunct faculty instructor within the University's Department of Communication Studies, teaching courses in social media and public relations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Organizational Communication and Public Relations from Wayne State University. Within IABC, she is currently the lead for the Student and Early Career Professional Shared Interest Group. Within Heritage Region, she has served as region chair, and Silver Quill awards program chair and co-chair, as well as being a member of the 2021 virtual conference planning team. She is a member of IABC Detroit where she previously served as president, events co-chair and website chair. She has been recognized at the international level in 2022 with the IABC International Executive Board Chair Award for foundational work in establishing the Student and Early Career Professional Shared Interest Group and as a 2014 IABC Chapter Leader of the Year.

Rick Alcantara
SIG Vice Lead

Rick Alcantara is president of Rick Alcantara Consulting and executive communications director for Princeton Strategic Communications. He advises corporate, nonprofit and government clients on public relations, crisis communications, social media and digital marketing. Rick is president-elect of IABC Philadelphia, board member of the IABC Heritage Region, past president of PRSA Philadelphia and a member of PRSA's Counselor's Academy.



Jacob R. Robinson (he/him)
Managing Director

Jacob is a passionate and polished early career communications professional with skills and talents across the board.

A recent #HumberPR Honours advanced diploma grad, the iron-willed and growing professional led IABC/Toronto’s prolific student circle committee to success from 2021 to 2022. This fall, Jacob will also be working for the APEX Public Relations agency in Toronto, one of Canada's Top Growing Companies listed by The Globe and Mail.

Beyond the IABC and work, Jacob is the podcast producer and host of PRogress with Jacob R, where he interviews PR practitioners and professional communicators. 

Jacob loves to network, connect the dots and build relationships with a people first, product second approach. Jacob is excited to work with our team and propel this SIG program to great heights.

Jacob also currently sits on IABC International's stronger together organisation design task force.

Anu Sharma
Director, Programming

Anu Sharma is a senior consultant with one of Canada’s leading full-service public affairs consulting firm-Prospectus Associates. With over 13 years in the public relations and communications field, her areas of expertise include media relations, digital marketing, event management and reputation management. Having worked with multinational organizations such as Canon and Weber Shandwick, Anu has a proven track record of planning and executing high-profile projects. Her latest academic achievement was obtaining a public relations diploma from Algonquin College, Ottawa. She is the Vice President of Leadership Development at the 2022-23 IABC Ottawa Board of Directors.


Chidinma Samuel
Manager, Social Media

ChiChi is an aspiring communication/social media professional, currently working as a marketing assistant at Metalworth Resources and has recently finished her practicum placement at the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. She’s a fourth-year communications student at the Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) and has over 2 years of social media experience. A firm believer in the power of content, she uses her years of experience and knowledge to create unique and sometimes unorthodox strategies. She has spent over 3 years in the service sector and the community, working with different organizations on collaboration, membership, public relations, volunteerism and inclusivity. She is also the Community outreach leader at the International Student Association at CMU.


Gloria I. Ndikumana
Manager, Events

Gloria I. Ndikumana is a journalist and communications specialist with over 3 years of international experience working in public-facing roles within the media sector. Originally from Rwanda, she has lived in 10 countries before moving to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her expertise includes media and client relations, digital marketing, and event coordination. Gloria is pursuing her post-graduate studies in PR, Marketing, and Strategic Management at the University of Winnipeg, after which she will intern for CBC Manitoba. In her free time, she likes traveling, reading, hosting friends and family, and exploring the art & amp; culture scene of whichever city she resides in at the time.


Lionel Pinto
Manager, Recruitment

Lionel is a digital marketing professional with 12+ years of experience in the industry. He has worked globally in the Middle East and Asia Pacific markets. Having worked on some major global brands such as Mastercard, Discovery Channel, Omega Watches, Lego, HMD Nokia, Bacardi, and more. Lionel holds a diverse portfolio that spans multiple industry sectors. His core strengths are creative thinking, storytelling, planning and analytics.

He is extremely passionate about wildlife photography and conservation and loves going on bird-watching expeditions on his weekends.

Lionel aspires to learn everything he can about the budding communications industry in Winnipeg, hopefully, start his own consultancy and help great local companies become iconic national brands in the future.

Arma Malik
Manager, Content

Arma Malik is a marketing and PR professional currently working in the medical aesthetic device industry. With a Masters degree in English, she is completing Seneca’s Public Relations and Corporate Communications program. She is excited to use her background in education to support students and early career professionals. She has volunteered with the IABC in various capacities and looks forward to her role as content manager for the SIG!



For information about Shared Interest Groups, or if you are interested in starting a new SIG, please contact member_relations@iabc.com