Interview with PRSSA 2010-2011 Executive Board
Major: Communications / Public Relations
How did you become a part of PRSSA?
I became a member by word of mouth. Ashleigh, our PRSSA President spoke to my class about PRSSA and wanted to learn more about the organization. At the time, I knew I wanted to be a COM Major but not exactly sure what area to pursue, being such a broad field of work. A couple days later, I was signing forms and paying dues as a PRSSA member.
Why did you run for a leadership position on the executive board?
After my first semester as a PRSSA member, I wanted to contribute more to the chapter and learn in the process. Anyone could say they were a PRSSA member but not everyone can say they held an E-Board position. Social media was a growing interest of mine and continued to be throughout my position as social media director.
What other things have you done that have prepared you for your career (internships, freelancing, other jobs, etc.)
I am currently a PR/ Media intern at Canning Communications and receiving plenty of hands-on experience. The internship has helped prepare me for the professional PR setting and allowed me to gain a confidence within myself. I will have the privilege of promoting and working with the Electronic Music Festival in Detroit this summer and thrilled to do so.
I have also had the pleasure of being paired with a PRSSA mentor, Susan Rogers, APR through the Wayne State Protégé Program and remain within close ties as a professional connection and friend. She has influenced my professional path as an aspiring PR professional and encourages me to better myself as a young professional and person.
How do you plan to use your knowledge and experience gained from the board in the real world?
I would say by remembering the small pieces of advice and tips that professionals have shared with me along the way. A repetitive phrase I have heard among those is, it’s not about what you know (although that helps), it’s about who you know. Through PRSSA, I was able to break that comfort barrier and network with professionals and other students in my field. Maintaining contacts and networking are key to aspiring young PR students. Don’t be afraid to attend events, tweet about professionals and write or blog about your passion! Break that comfort barrier!
What advice can you give for students who are looking to be more active in PRSSA?
As I mentioned in the last question, you MUST break that comfort barrier along with other key tips:
Write– Whether its for the Salute or PRSSA Blog, writing is required wherever you go post-graduation. Writing rules and you never know who is reading your materials.
Be Active in Social Media – Today, professionals utilize the internet as a primary source for hiring and recruiting. If you Google yourself and nothing or something comes up you didn’t want to see, then it is time to become proactive! Start a Twitter account, LinkedIn or Facebook and allow yourself to be worth knowing.
Network, Network, Network – Call up an agency today and meet with a professional in the field you are pursuing. Ask them questions and retain their invaluable advice. Now is the time to create a professional and reputable name through those contacts.
What was your favorite experience as a member and/or board member?
Hands down, the people I have met. PR is such a dynamic and robust field to be a part of today. I never thought I would meet as many people as I have if I hadn’t been a part of PRSSA. I am not the type of person to interact socially among groups but PRSSA was the baby step that helped me take the big leap in the PR world.
How has PRSSA, as an organization, prepared you for a career in this industry?
PRSSA has offered me multiple opportunities to learn and engage the learning community. The chapter conducted social media workshops, professional speaker panels, agency tours, regional activity involvement and the list goes on. The PRSSA Chapter connects members to unique opportunities such as scholarships and internships. PRSSA helped land my current internship and most certainly enhanced my level of professionalism.
What is your favorite quote?
“God will never give you more than you can handle.” –Mom
We all have those days where we don’t want to leave the house but this quote is my motivation and keeps me optimistic throughout this journey.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” – Plato
I start my day with this quote as a reminder to….be kind.
What is your career plan after graduation?
I am entering the PR world with an open mind. Social media, non-profit, healthcare and entertainment are high interests of mine. My feeling is whichever branch of PR I pursue, I plan to enjoy and learn about each experience to the fullest.
As a senior, what is the best advice you can give to students interested in public relations?
A professional once told me to “embrace the fact that you are a young professional and enjoy the process. “Do not be afraid to ask questions. The mistakes will happen so shake it off or write about it!