Before public relations, my ambition was to become an actor. I later realized ‘actor’ was just another word for ‘part-time waiter who fancies himself as an artist’ (‘thespians’ work in classier restaurants). Then, I had considered teaching, until my first observation hours revealed the little patience I have for dealing with 30 teenagers at 8 a.m. I soon found my niche in writing and considered trying to make it as a novelist, but that career path would leave me unable to afford the exuberances of my present lifestyle – food, shelter, clothing, etc… Journalism was a natural transition – after all, both Twain and Hemmingway began their writing careers as journalists. Given the rate at which newspapers are closing doors, I would have more job security as an actor. I then read how public relations was one of the fastest-growing careers.
As I walked into my summer introduction course, public relations would only be another dabble into a different field – the next stop on the Academia Tour. Dr. Shelly Najor, an admirable public relations professor at Wayne State, had devoted the first day of class defining ‘public relations’ that had filled three pages in my notebook. The textbook was equally vague. The more I had acquired,the more public relations had become a career with such eclectic interests and for me, was a match made in heaven.
Still, I needed direction. PRSSA has been my roadmap and a connection to professionals whose advice has been invaluable. A refreshing talk with guest speaker Ashley Woods has helped ease the tension upon entering an unfamiliar field. The PRSSA guest panel had also revealed the many doors opening for public relations specialists – at agencies, hospitals, universities, government offices or even as your own employer.
The greatest benefits of PRSSA membership have been the members themselves. I have found a network of individuals whom I can call colleagues and friends. Because of PRSSA, I can now say with certainty that my most recent choice of major will also be my last.
December- PRSSA Member of the Month
Greg Melvin – @gcmelvin