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97 Covenant Undergraduates Emerge NIPR Student-Members

Not less than 97 students of the Department of Mass Communication, Covenant University, were on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, inducted student-members of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).

The two-part event was held physically at the Covenant University Centre for Research, Innovation and Discovery auditorium and virtually, with senior officials of the NIPR participating from their different locations.

While giving the induction orientation lecture titled “Becoming a Professional While in School: A Rare Privilege”, Dr Raphael Olugbenga Abimbola of the Department of Mass Communication, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, said that being student-members of the NIPR afforded them certain benefits and opportunities.

Upon graduation and subsequent upgrade, he said the students would have access to growth, profile and career ladder in Public Relations (PR), their professional experience guaranteeing their placement in the appropriate cadre, and access to PR expertise and mentorship. Also, he said there would be the establishment of a professional base for a job description, positioning for opportunities in the international skills pool, and members registered and certificated as professionals, thus separating them from quacks amongst others.

According to Dr Abimbola, in terms of opportunities, the students were better placed to be accepted in high profile professional PR and other communications agencies/consultancies for their mandatory SIWES programme, including mentorship-opportunity to be mentored by PR professionals at both chapter and national levels.

Following the delivery of the lecture, the Chairman, Membership Services Committee of the NIPR, Dr Sule Ya’u Sule, presented the new inductees to the Institute’s President; the Induction Oath was administered by the Principal Assistant Registrar, Mr Kayode Yeku, while an address on the induction of new student members was delivered by the President and Chairman of Council, Mallam Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo, fnipr

The second part of the event featured a public relations activation examination for PRE 340 (Public Relations Workshop) course in the Mass Communication Department. A panel of judges from the industry exclusively moderated the hands-on test on the practical and skill-based course handled by Dr Thelma Ekanem and Dr Oscar Odiboh. The judges included a former Commissioner in Ogun State, Dr (Chief) Fassy Yusuf; Chair, NIPR, Lagos Chapter, Mrs Comfort Nwankwo; Public Affairs Consultant & Analyst, Akogun (Chief) G. K. Balogun; and Chairman, NIPR, Ogun State Chapter, Mr Lekan Togunwa.

Students’ public relations firms created during classroom lectures and practices competed for marks, medals and trophies during the Omega Semester (activation) examination. The PR firms were Crystal PR, Drago PR, La’ Meff PR, Black Panda PR, Parque PR Consultancy, and Pujols PR.

At the end of the examinations, judges were unanimous in their verdicts that the students performed brilliantly. They said they were impressed by the students’ displays, presentations, and capacity for activation management. The judges commended the training and grooming of the students by their course lecturers, acknowledging that they were ready for the industry. Three firms, however, emerged winners, with Crystal PR leading the pack.

To cap the event, all the inductees received their NIPR professional certificates of membership. Also, all the student leaders of the six PR firms received medals of leadership from the Judges to reward their overall success and acknowledge the leadership skills demonstrated during the activation examination. Miss. Oluabusomma Kizer-Akaraiwe received a medal as the general best presenter for the activation.

The Dean, College of Management and Social Sciences, Professor Uwalomwa Uwuigbe, representing the Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor Abiodun H. Adebayo, requested from the NIPR the institution of a Professorial Chair in Public Relations at the Department of Mass Communication, Covenant University. He noted that the cordial relationship between the Institute and Covenant University justified the request to demonstrate further the Town/Town focus of the University’s management.

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