What PRSSA has done for me
A few years ago I decided to go back to school and had been working in a restaurant for way too long, barely surviving. I knew I could not and did not want to, live the rest of my life day-to-day. Affording school was tricky, but I started at a community college and decided to major in public relations after a minor Sex and the City obsession. I thought that Samantha had the job I would possibly be good at, minus the promiscuity.
It was a minor shock to me when the head of the public relations program at Macomb Community College started talking about portfolios and case studies and I realized that I didn’t know what I had gotten myself into. No, literally, I had no idea what public relations was… was there a future in it for me?
After taking many credits at MCC, I was ready to transfer to Wayne State University which offers an actual degree in public relations. I met a girl through mutual friends who had recently graduated from the PR program at WSU, and told me this one phrase, several times, “ You NEED to join PRSSA if you want to have any hope of getting a job in your field when you graduate.” Well, seeing as she already had a job, I took her advice and joined immediately.
What I found in PRSSA was hope. Hope for my future. A future that was looking like I was going down another road…a road called failure. Everyone involved was extremely welcoming and assembled various events that were useful to me. I received advice from real Detroit professionals in the PR field and went to events that offered advice that could not be learned in the classroom. I attended a Regional Activity at Michigan State in Spring of 2010 that allowed me to mingle with other PRSSA students from around Michigan with different speakers from various areas of PR- the aread of PR I was interested in. These experiences turned my outlook on my future from mildly hopeless to optimistic.
PRSSA offers writing opportunities that a lot of employers are interested in, more so than your class work. A membership with PRSSA offers national and local scholarship opportunities, and other ways to make your portfolio and resume standout in this bleak job market. On top of that, resume and portfolio workshops are offered almost every semester, as well as networking opportunities with Detroit PR professionals.
If you are as lost as I once was, you don’t have to be. PRSSA is a great opportunity to help you work through who you want to be. You don’t have to be a PR major to join, public relations provide tools that can transition into any profession, and it also doesn’t hurt to have the experience on your resume.
Follow Lauren on Twitter – @LaurenDissmore