I remember walking into my very first PRSSA meeting my freshman year. I looked at all the executives at the front of the room and never would have thought I would become one. Even with my lack of knowledge, experience, and confidence, for some reason God chose to use me and place me in a position outside of my comfort zone. It has been an amazing experience to lead PRSSA and be a member of a chapter that is thirsty to grow and learn.
I think one of the most appealing aspects of being a PRSSA member is getting a chance to get hands-on experience in our student-run firm, Innovations. My junior year, I was involved in planning the Special Olympics Virginia Polar Plunge. I gained experience writing a press release, visiting businesses to get donations, and working with a team to put on a fundraising event. Innovations allows students to put what they learn in the classroom into practice.
I have 3 pieces of advice to current and future PRSSA members:
1. Run for an executive position
There are 8 executive positions and each of them offer amazing ways to use your skills. Your future employers will love to see on your resume that you took the initiative to go above and beyond by being a leader.
When you are a member of PRSSA, you will get to meet many professionals in the field of public relations. Innovations also gives you the opportunity to work for professionals and glean off of their experience. Take advantage of this time to network with them. Ask for their business card, connect with them on LinkedIn, ask them questions, etc. You never know…one day they could offer you a job!
3. Get involved in one of Innovations’ accounts
Each semester Innovations has at least 3 clients they are working with such as HIS Vision, Special Olympics Virginia, Club Sports, and more. Pick an account and get plugged in!