Seeing the potential in others

Graduate Krista Murray ‘08 returns to campus to share her knowledge and experience with future graduates.

By Lindy Yang ‘22

After graduating with a degree in communications from McMaster University, Krista Murray ‘08 says she “gained a lot of clarity” by enrolling in Mohawk College’s Public Relations graduate diploma program. The program was extremely practical, hands-on, and very connected to the community. “I was able to build a network of industry professionals. It was fast-paced and intense, so I got a feel for what the working world really was like,” she says.

When Krista started her first job in the industry as a communications coordinator at the Canadian Cancer Society, she brought her binder of school notes to work and referred to it often. “It was full of practical, hands-on approaches for how I could actually do my work in the real world.” The notes, which she kept at her work desk, included templates from her class projects and group work that she could adapt for her job.

Starting her career in the non-profit sector allowed Krista to gain exposure to many aspects of communications. After four years with the Canadian Cancer Society, she joined another non-profit, the Peel Children and Youth Initiative, as a communications manager. Following the birth of her son, she wanted to work closer to home, and she resonated with the supportive, community-oriented company culture at Mabel’s Labels. She joined as a community manager specializing in social media. In her six years with Mabel’s Labels, she’s grown into her current role as the director of marketing and sales who leads a team of 13.

Reflecting on what’s helped her succeed in her career, Krista says, “I work hard and I’m able to appreciate others’ perspectives.” She feels lucky to have followed strong leadership and mentors along her career path. “I’ve been fortunate to work with people who believe in me, helping my personal and professional growth, removing barriers and obstacles to help me reach my goals.” She now embodies these qualities as a manager, learning what her teammates need and adapting her leadership style to help them thrive. Krista enjoys seeing potential in people that are “not fully tapped.” She advocates for her team because as she explains, “people should always be growing and developing [in] their careers and if you believe in someone and their ability to do that, I think it’s worth taking the time to develop their potential.”

Krista also extends mentorship and support to the Mohawk College community through her volunteer work as a member of the program advisory committee for Mohawk’s public relations program. Since joining the committee as a graduating student in 2008, Krista has spoken to classes, participated as a judge for final projects, conducted mock interviews for class assignments, and even taken on an intern from the program. Krista says, “it’s been rewarding to be able to stay connected to Mohawk and continue to meet the new generations of students coming out of this program each year.” Krista knows these graduates are going to be people she will work with one day as they grow in their own careers.