The spring semester of my freshman year I decided to change my major from Broadcasting and Cinematic Arts to Integrative Public Relations. Although I was very excited for this transition, I was also a bit overwhelmed because with that my extra-curricular involvements would have to follow suit and alter as well. I heard of an RSO called PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) for Public Relations students. Sometimes Acronyms can be difficult and I didn’t really know what it entailed but I knew I needed to check it out. I knew getting involved could potentially form a foundation to build upon for my future.
I went to my first meeting the next fall because I figured it would be smart to start out fresh on a new semester. General meetings usually consist of some sort of workshop, activity, or speaker related to the job field. Some have topics have included pitching, press releases, crisis communications, and a portfolio and linked in workshop. I really enjoy hearing from professionals about their experiences in the field and gaining advice while making connections. We all have a dream job and a definition of success but hearing that such success is possible is very encouraging. Your future can look anyway you desire it to be you just have to be bold enough to live it out.
After becoming a general member I then joined the Professional Development Committee through PRSSA. The organization has a number of committees designed for students to gain hands on experience in a number of different areas such as social media, events, and design. The PDC is responsible for planning the fall internship fair for more than 25 organizations. I helped organize folders for professionals, coordinate parking, and write thank you letters. Being delegated tasks to help make the fair a success made me learn all that goes into planning an event and how gaining the necessary skills can benefit you when applying for jobs in the future.
The spring semester I joined PR Central a student run public relations firm that works with clients to gain hands on experience in the field. My client is Northern Lower AHEC a nonprofit healthcare company. I hold the position of consultant and am guided by two upper class-men for the work of our client. My responsibilities have included researching printing services, forming twitter content, and helping with a careers brochure. As an organization we recently hosted our annual Duck Derby at the Soaring Eagle Waterpark to raise money for PR scholarships and other events throughout the year.
With my involvement in PRSSA, the Professional Development Committee, and PR Central I am so thankful to gain community of future PR professionals. I am fortunate to have many people I can turn for help when applying for internships or struggling through a class that have experience in a similar situation and are more than willing to help. I enjoy learning about PR in the classroom but am so grateful for the opportunity to take what I have learned and apply it to hands on work that can benefit me in the future. My relations have helped me build a foundation for continued growth in community to support me as I gain the skills for my future career.