Alanis Picardo

During her undergraduate degree, Alanis Picardo discovered she has a passion for writing. When she graduated in 2020, Picardo faced a difficult job market impacted by the pandemic. She wanted to hone her writing skills and gain more confidence in her abilities, so she decided to enroll in Humber’s Professional Writing and Communications (PWC) graduate certificate program.  

“At Humber, I was able to write for myself and about things that interested me,” said Picardo. “After the first few weeks, I could see my career path starting to form and I was excited about where it was headed.”  

The PWC program supports students as they learn and practice the craft of writing while building a professional portfolio. The program encourages collaboration, networking, professional development and publication. 

Picardo started the program during the pandemic and had to navigate a fully online classroom for the first time. 

“It was challenging,” she said. “Thankfully, the network of friends and colleagues I had definitely made it easier.”  

“For many people, a comfy corner in our bedrooms became make-shift office and study spaces, a humbling reminder that you don’t need much to follow your dreams. All you need is a bit of creativity, the ability to roll with the punches and a ‘just go for it’ attitude.”  

Between classes, Picardo took on a work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunity as an editorial assistant for the HLR Spotlight, a student-created online supplement published by the Humber Literary Review

“Working for the HLR Spotlight boosted my confidence,” said Picardo. “When it was time for my work placement, I knew I had the skills needed to succeed.”  

Students in the PWC program are required to complete a 12-week placement, allowing them to gain valuable practical and professional experience. Picardo utilized her personal network to secure a work placement with the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).  

“I worked on a project called Tech Hub, a business-wide intranet where employees can find assistance with common technology questions,” she said. “My role was to take technical information and transform it into something more accessible and engaging that would help others with their day-to-day jobs.”  

After her work placement, Picardo transitioned to a full-time role in RBC’s Global Corporate Communications department. She continues to build on the knowledge she gained from the PWC program in the professional world. 

“I’m amazed at the creativity that Alanis brings to our team each and every day,” says Christine Stewart, director of financial communications at RBC. “It’s a testament to her genuine passion for out-of-the-box storytelling and the strong writing skills and practical work experience she gained in the Humber PWC program.” 

“During my time at Humber, I gained so many skills that I was missing,” said Picardo. “The PWC program is challenging, but it made me a better writer and I’m so grateful for the experience.”  

Picardo shared her advice for students who may be nervous about completing a work placement.  

“Just keep going and don’t compare yourself to what other people are doing,” she said. “Keep your head down and focus on what makes you happy.”  

“For me, that was a career in the arts, and I’m thankful that the PWC program prepared me for that dream.”  

Learn more about Humber’s Professional Writing and Communications graduate certificate program.