My co-workers at Well Design Studio jokingly branded me as “Brizus/Breezy for President” one day in the office (stemming off of the Yezus/Yeezy brand of Kanye West in case you’re unfamiliar). All joking aside, it seems the role of President has actually come into full effect for me with the amazing organization of PRSSA.
I am Bri Olson, and I am proud to serve the 2017-2018 school year as the President of Grand Valley’s PRSSA Chapter. As I sit in one of my favorite coffee shops in East Grand Rapids writing this, it brings a smile to my face to think about my evolution with this organization. It feels like just yesterday when I was an innocent sophomore who’d sit in the back of PRSSA meetings and soak up as much information from speakers as possible before I felt confident enough to open my mouth and ask questions. There was a time when I didn’t know what SEO, IR, IMC, RFP, etc. meant (and don’t feel bad if you’re unsure what some of those acronyms stand for, you’ll learn). My sophomore year was the year I had my first class with professor Adrienne Wallace who has been the fuel to my professional fire from then on.
Junior year came along and I knew I had enough passion for PRSSA to run for a position on the e-board. I thought the VP of Member Services was appropriate for my personality because I was a huge advocate for PRSSA and loved talking to newcomers. Through attending a session at the PRSSA National Assembly in Seattle, Washington, I learned the importance of “pitching your passion.” I found this true when pitching PRSSA to others as well as pitching the love of my profession to others (like my mom or grandma who are a bit confused at what it is I go to school for). This reminds me of one of the many takeaways of having 1,000 classes with Tim Penning, APR....”defend PR to those who think what we do is “spin” and explain that when practiced ethically, PR is invaluable to clients.”
Now here I am, a senior in the advertising and public relations program. I feel like I’ve learned so much even though I know I have a long way to go. That’s what I love about PR, no day is the same. You’re constantly having to learn new skills, understand clients needs, and adapt into their industry. I am a person who doesn’t like to sit still so, becoming involved in PRSSA has really fed my starvation for learning and growing, both personally and professionally. I have met some of my best friends in this organization and just for that I’m so grateful.
Lastly, I will bore you with some of my accomplishments but I promise to wrap it up with some fun facts. Last year I was one of the Account Executives for GrandPR, our student-run PR firm at GVSU. This year I will be on the National Student Advertising Competition team, which was an national award-winning team last year. Since January 2017, I have been an intern for Well Design Studio where I practice my knowledge of media relations, social media, and content mapping for websites. Previous to working at Well Design, I interned at Gemini Publications where I managed the social media accounts for Grand Rapids Magazine and assisted in event planning for the annual 40 Under Forty event. I am a Chicagoland native, cat lover, and photo enthusiast. When I am not in meetings, making to-do lists or sending emails, you can find me cracking jokes, trying new restaurants or exploring unknown areas of different cities.
See you soon, xo!