PRSSA E-Board Member Interview with Tommy Roy upon Graduation

Interview with PRSSA 2010-2011 Executive Board

Name: Tommy Roy

Major: Public Relations

Class:  Senior

Member Since: 2009

Connect: LinkedIn

How did you become a part of PRSSA?

 I became part of PRSSA my junior year. I had just switched majors from political science to public relations. My teachers strongly encouraged me to join PRSSA because there was a lot of “out of the classroom” experiences I could attain through my membership.

Why did you run for a leadership position on the executive board?

I ran for my position on the executive board because I knew I had a great talent at leading. Many of my teachers suggested that I consider a position on the executive board. My skills would present a great asset to the chapter as a whole. I also believed I had an opportunity to relate to other students and be an example of what they can achieve in the short term. 

What other things have you done that have prepared you for your career?

I have done most of my early work in the food industry. I have taken on leadership roles in some of the nicest restaurants in the Detroit metro area. I have done a lot of behind-the-scenes work, which strengthened my ability as a leader. Career specific, I am exercising my developed writing skills as I work closely with a client of mine and organize our comprehensive memoirs. The life she has lead is extraordinary; the story we plan to share will captivate many readers.

How do you plan to use your knowledge and experience gained from the board in the real world?

The experience I have gained as a leader on the executive board will benefit me in the future. The relationships we developed and the group formation process – forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning – will assist me in future relationships and close group work.  

What was your favorite experience as a member and/or board member?

I enjoyed the weeklong “Wilderness Week” as part of COM 4500 – Leadership and Communication. As an e-board, we already knew each other, but this week strengthened our bond. We worked hard together this semester not only as fellow students or pre-professionals, but as friends.

How has PRSSA prepared you for a career in this industry?

I have met an abundant amount of professionals. I dedicated a lot of my time this year to PRSSA and in doing so, spent a lot of that time with our area professionals. I have bounced ideas off our business leaders and shared with them my plans for the future. They, in turn, gave me great advice on how to succeed with the skills I have to offer. As a member, the writing opportunities and the professional development events strengthened my character as a professional, which ultimately sets me up for success in the years ahead. 

What is your favorite quote?

In my feature writing class with Professor Burns, every Wednesday we had to bring in a quote from an author on writing. I made it my task to find one which met my personality – funny, but professional.

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and it will be just as it should be.” –Mark Twain 

What is your career plan after graduation?

I am on the career search right now, but while I am on that search I plan to work closely with my client. Our plan in gathering the memories and stories that will come together quicker so we reach our goal sooner. 

As a senior, what is the best advice you can give to students interested in public relations? 

The best advice I can offer students interested in public relations is that through mastering this skill, you will have experience that can be utilized in a multitude of professions. For current public relations students, my advice is to get involved now and that it’s never too late. The inches are all around you. Shaking one more hand; going to one more professional development event; just a little bit of effort can take you a very damn long way.

I hope my advice and experience will benefit you as your educational career advances. As a leader, I look to those who follow me for advice – that’s how I strengthen my leadership skill. There is so much I wish I could repeat or have a second chance at accomplishing. I have learned so much from my mistakes; it is that learning which establishes the person behind the profile you read today. Do not be afraid to make mistakes for you will always learn.


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