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

Join the next meet-up on 11 October at 6:00 p.m. CT // 12 October at 10:30 a.m. AEST.

Drawing from individual and collective experiences, the SIG will share a demonstrated counsel on how you can effectively build your career path, navigate the comms terrain and get way ahead of the game — from the diverse perspectives of at least three nations.

Register now.

About Our Student/Early Career SIG Leaders

Jacob Robinson (he/him) 
Team Captain/Senior Managing Director

Jacob Robinson is a Toronto-based communication consultant at APEX Public Relations, Kaizen practitioner and team captain of our shared interest group. Jacob has found learning about process, people, data analysis (qualitative and quantitative), internal communication, organisational culture, agile business functions, cause and effect, prioritisation, macro forces, and 'the whole works' to be a majestic experience.  By working diligently with fellow brilliant emerging (early careers and students) and senior business leaders, we will continue to illuminate this program and bring it to the forefront of greatness. Jacob also served on IABC’s stronger together organisation design taskforce and was named a #WeLeadComms honoree in 2023.

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.

Jodie Lack (she/her) 
Programming Director

Jodie is a Bachelor of Communications (Public Relations) student at Deakin University. She has an eager and passionate outlook in the areas of B-Corporation, social enterprise, not-for-profit and government.
With 1 year of industry experience, Jodie’s skills have been highly developed in media relations, writing, social media, website design and event management. Her ability to effectively manage time, work with deadlines and take on leadership roles has been demonstrated in current and previous roles. 

Sam Swanson (he/him)

Sam is a Winnipeg, Canada-based writer, researcher and business developer, experienced in marketing and public relations within various sectors, including education, healthcare, science, technology and culture. Sam is the founder and CEO of Compound Connect, a clean-tech company that improves the tools and technologies used in environmental research and recycling processes. Sam has worked for employers such as The University of Manitoba as well as clients like Manitoba Hydro to produce communications assets that aid researchers, policy-makers and local communities toward better understanding various aspects of aquatic ecosystem health, and other topics in science, culture and technology.
Sam was a speaker at the Industry-Academia Partnership panel at IABC’s 2022 Leadership Institute and serves as Director of Leadership Development at IABC Manitoba.

Ross Monaghan (he/him)

Ross is an award-winning academic, author and communication expert. He started his working life as a reporter in regional Victoria before working in senior communication roles at BHP and Optus. He is a former CEO of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association. Now an academic at Deakin University, Ross teaches, researches and consults in the fields of communication, social media and emergency communication. He has worked with a range of commercial and government organisations including Victorian, NSW and Queensland Government Departments, and the Australia Defence Force.

Ross also serves as the Vice Chair of IABC APAC.

Catalina Gardescu, CMP (she/her)

A Communication and Public Relations Specialist since 2001, Catalina worked for two decades at the American International School of Bucharest, first building and then heading the Admissions and External Relations Department .  Her work included parent interviews, admissions projections, communications, parent relations, fundraising, alumni relations and strategic marketing.  In the field of admissions in international schools, she worked to grow a network of a couple hundred international education promoters who reach out to each other, share information and expertise.  She was involved in creating leading professional development workshops for international schools –designed and led Admissions Certification Courses in Shanghai, Singapore, and Sofia - founded the International Admissions Bulletin (currently published by Faria Education Group as the leading international schools’ admissions publication). She has founded and is now leading Ideas Into Action and volunteers as the VP of IABC EMENA Board and as the Membership Director of Safe Passage Across Networks and supports many international and national NGOs.

Catalina also serves as the Chair of IABC EMENA.

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