Meghan Boyd watches the valedictorian ceremony online with her parents Photo credit: photo courtesy of Meghan Boyd

Meghan Boyd, this year’s valedictorian for the School of Media and Design, encourages all students to focus on their goals and to strive for small victories.

“Stay positive and try to complete one little thing each day that brings you closer to your goal,” said Boyd, a 2020 graduate of the public relations program. “You don’t have to make huge strides; you just have to make those little steps. Believe in yourself and know the decisions you made will put you in the right place.”

Despite her successes in her program, Boyd was hesitant about joining public relations in the beginning. Having already completed an undergrad degree at Mount Allison with a double major in psychology and sociology, she worried about being a mature student and not fitting in. She attributes much of her success to the encouragement and support of her professors and peers.

Lara Mills, one Boyd’s professors and program coordinator, was happy to see her honored with the valedictorian award.

“She’s definitely deserving of it. She exemplifies our ideal PR graduate,” said Mills. “She always worked hard and went the extra mile and did what she needed to in order to get the grades.”

Mills explained that Boyd’s professionalism, poise and kindness left a great impression on her her field placement host, PR firm Hill and Knowlton. But when Boyd completed her placement in April, they were unable to offer a contract due to a COVID-19 hiring freeze.

Known to be a pro-active and adaptable worker, Boyd did not sit still. She created her own company, she worked hard to continue her upward trajectory and diligently worked as freelance in graphic design, communication planning and social media management.

This October, Boyd joined Hill and Knowlton full time as an assistant consultant.

While Boyd is an accomplished student, she is also an active member of her community. Over the last ten years, Boyd has participated in fund raising for the Do it for Daron campaign with the Royal Ottawa, a campaign to bring awareness, inspire conversation and transform the way we talk about youth mental-health issues.

The candidate for valedictorian is put forward by program coordinators and professors. Boyd called the experience “humbling.”

“I’m very proud of the graduating class and the School of Media and Design,” said Boyd. “The people that come out of that program and school, and the work they do, speaks for itself.”