Sitting in the crowded Niemeyer classroom last #PRWednesday, I was excited to see so many new faces. I remember when I first joined PRSSA last year as a freshman, a time when public relations was a field with which I was unfamiliar. As I became actively involved with PRSSA throughout the school year, it became very clear that this organization is crucial to pre-professional development. The amount of connections I have made, agencies I have toured, knowledge I have acquired, and friends I have made is unreal. As I enter my second year in PRSSA, I would like to highlight three ways in which future members can get the most out of their PRSSA experience:
- Attend meetings: This sounds cliche and similar to “go to class!” but I cannot stress this point enough. By attending meetings on #PRWednesday, you not only receive relevant information about upcoming events, but you will also get the opportunity to hear from great speakers. Many of the speakers invited to our meetings have professional experience from a plethora of different industries including healthcare, sports, education, government, and more. Some of these speakers also take time after the meetings to look over resumes, to answer any questions, and to network with members.
- Go on agency tours: This is probably the most important point on the list. I attended agency tours last year in Chicago and Detroit, and it was the best decision I made. I saw first hand what it is like to work in an agency. The agency employees prepared presentations and activities for us to do that engaged us and familiarized us with their companies. I remember at a Chicago agency, the creative director had us perform a brainstorming exercise in his office. These tours really solidified my passion to this creative field, and when I returned home, I had a stack of business cards in my coat pocket.
- Attend mixers: When I attended the Detroit Regional conference in March (read my blog about it here), a mixer with Wayne State’s and Michigan State’s PRSSA chapters occurred the night before at the Punchbowl Social, located in downtown Detroit. Not only was the food amazing, but I also had the opportunity to meet fellow PRSSA members in a casual setting. This was great for networking and making even more connections.
As you can see from the list, becoming an active member rewards you. Whether you’re an underclassman curious if PR is the right field for you, or senior who needs to network for life beyond graduation, PRSSA has your back. Take advantage of all the resources available to you, and let’s have another amazing year.