This month we’re highlighting a new member of IABC Ottawa – Manuela Bárcenas. She’s also a recent grad, working in her dream job at a software company in Ottawa called Fellow.

Manuela was born in Bogota, Colombia and lived there until she was eight-years-old. Manuela attended middle school in Ecuador and high school in Peru. Living in different countries from a young age encouraged Manuela to develop a deep passion for travelling, innovation and relationship building. At 19, Manuela moved to Canada to pursue post-secondary studies in Journalism and Communications at Carleton University.

In her role at Fellow, Manuela is responsible for content, public relations, search engine marketing, and event planning, amongst many other things. Describing herself as positive, resourceful and driven, Manuela has found a community for herself here in Ottawa.

IABC Involvement

Manuela began volunteering with IABC Ottawa as a student in 2017 and has been an IABC member since 2018. Now serving as one of IABC Ottawa events directors, her main responsibilities vary. The events team organizes events throughout the season, nearly one every month. Manuela’s responsibilities range from organizing logistics (such as venue, food, etc.), coordinating speakers/guests, to writing content for social media promotion.

“IABC is a great way to network with other communications professionals in the Ottawa area, learn about the trends in our field and feel part of a community,” she says. “This is especially valuable after graduating university!”

While Manuela hasn’t been a professional in the communications field for very long, she encourages anyone hoping to work in the technology and the software industry to stay updated on the tools, apps and the technology companies that operate in the city.

Advice to Students

Manuela was the co-president of a humanitarian association that raised $18,000 for humanitarian aid in Latin America, and a community developer for Carleton residence. Manuela’s experiences with these extracurricular organizations helped her learn about event planning and fundraising. Having to interview sources and write articles on a weekly basis for her journalism degree also helped her become a better writer and gain the confidence necessary to interact with other professionals.

Manuela encourages current communications students to get involved as much as they can. While she understands the importance of getting good grades, she also emphasizes that extracurricular involvement and internships really count!

She encourages students to take advantage of the online courses on IABC Academy, mentorship programs like IABC Ottawa’s new Member Connect Program and networking with peers at school to maximize your skillset.

Passionate about storytelling, relationship building and social impact, Manuela looks forward to planning impactful future events for IABC Ottawa members.

Young professionals welcome at IABC Ottawa

If you’re a student or young professional in Ottawa, now is the time to join IABC! Students get a significant discount on membership fees and this price carries over one year after graduating.

Join IABC Ottawa today to connect with communication peers from across the city!

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