External Relations - Alex Hryciw
Written by: Katie Fitzgerald
Photographed by: Austin Yee
As seen in the October 2018 issue of Lazy Faire magazine
Can you explain a bit about what you do for the Mayor of Edmonton?
I am a Communications Advisor for Mayor Don Iveson. My primary job entails developing and executing on communications strategies that support the vision and policies of the Mayor. This includes blogs, social media advice, media relations, and more. Everyday, it's challenging and different, but it's a role that contributes to making our city a better place to visit, stay, and thrive.
What is your favourite part about your job?
Actually making a difference. In 2017, the Mayor put forward a vision for a greater Edmonton in his re-election campaign. A city that thinks, plans, and builds for a million people. One that accelerates leadership on energy transition and climate change. A family-friendly city and a new economic future for Alberta's capital. It's a vision that pushes our city forward, and I love being a part of that work. I have a great love for this city and it's potential; every day I get to contribute to making it better.
What has been your biggest learning experience throughout your career?
My biggest learning experience has been that you have to fail to succeed. I am a perfectionist, and it's always been very difficult to accept or admit failure. However, over the years, I've come to realize that some of the greatest learning moments have come out of those failures. They've made me stronger, smarter, and they've given me the confidence to face the next big challenge. It's difficult to have this perspective when you're in the middle of a catastrophe, but that's part of lifelong learning. I try to always take a moment during those hectic times and remind myself that this isn't a life or death situation, and there is usually a way to fix it. This, along with an unhealthy dependence on going for a run to clear my head, helps me to survive the tough days.
What would be your number one piece of advice for business students in regards to career development?
Come from a place of “yes.” It's not always easy; school can be exhausting, and the last thing you may want to do at the end of the night is attend a networking event or sit in a board meeting, but accepting opportunity when someone is holding the door open for you is incredibly important.
What is your favourite part about YEG?
A lot of people ask me this question; especially when I travel to other cities, people say, "look how beautiful this place is, how can Edmonton still have your whole heart?", and my answer is always the people. From my experience, everyone here in this city wants to know what you're doing and how they can help. There's a pulse here that I haven't experienced in other places, and it's what I love most about Edmonton.
What do you enjoy doing outside of your work?
I don't get a lot of free time, so when I have it, I capitalize on it. I love a long run in the river valley (it brings me a lot of peace). I also give a lot of my time to IABC Edmonton as the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications. When you work for the City, your work follows you no matter where you are, so to truly escape, I have to leave. I love heading to the mountains for a hike. Forcing myself to be in areas without cell service, where I can actually disconnect, clears my mind and rejuvenates me. I'm lucky I live in a province where weekend trips like that are an option!