Everyone has a story. In public relations, our goal is to find and create that story and subsequently share that story with others. In PRSSA-UD this year, our goal is for every individual walk away from PRSSA with their own story.
In all honesty, my PRSSA story is long. I began attending meetings as a freshmen, joined the executive board my sophomore year, and served as president my junior and now senior year. I have countless stories about how PRSSA has helped me meet PR professionals and develop my professional skills. My PRSSA story stretches from Newark to Wilmington to New York City to Washington D.C. to Orlando. It would take days to tell you what PRSSA has done for me! So, instead here are just a few highlights from my experience with PRSSA:
1. I met Governor Markell and his Communications Team. Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love politics and political communication. Last year, I attended a PRSA Delaware meeting in which I was sitting right beside the Governor and got the chance to talk with his deputy communications coordinator (her business card is still in my file).
How it can be your story: We provide scholarships for two PRSSA members to attend a PRSA Delaware meeting each month. Students who attend these meetings have the chance to network with local industry professionals and participate in that day’s program. These professionals LOVE to talk to students, so bring your resumes and business cards because you never know who you might meet!
2. I traveled to New York City and met with Grace Leong, owner of Hunter Public Relations, an award-winning public relations firm on Madison Avenue. Last summer, I traveled to New York City with our faculty adviser and sat down with Grace Leong, PRSSA-UD alum and PR pro extraordinaire. She helped us significantly rebrand and reinvigorate our Chapter and continually helps support us.
How it can be your story: Grace was a guest speaker at one of our highest-attended meetings last year and offered students a unique perspective on consumer public relations. In addition, our students took a trip to NYC last spring and actually got to tour the Hunter PR offices. Finally, Hunter PR offers a five-week paid internship exclusively to one PRSSA-UD member over winter session. (They usually get 500+ applications for their summer internships and chose only four interns, so this is an awesome opportunity for Blue Hens only!)
3. I attended the National Conference in Washington D.C. and will be presenting a Chapter Development session to over 400 students at this year’s conference in Orlando, Florida. The annual PRSSA National Conference is a great time to meet professionals and students from all over the country. Last year, I heard from a variety of nationally-recognized speakers (including the Intern Queen) and met students from all parts of the country, from Drexel University to Utah State to University of Oregon. This year, our Chapter was chosen to present a Chapter Development Session at the National Conference. Our presentation focuses on how we rebranded our Chapter, and yes – all of your stories!
How it can be your story: This year, four individuals received full scholarships (covering registration, airfare, and accommodations) to the conference in Orlando. We received generous support from our Communication Department, PRSA Delaware, and Alyosius, Butler, & Clark. We also actively fundraise to provide scholarships for our students.
4. I built my professional network. Through our general meetings, annual events (including our Night With The Pros panel and Spring Networking Event), PRSA Delaware meetings, Mentor-Mentee program, and regional and national conferences, I’ve met more professionals than I could count! These professionals have helped me with my resume, to find internships, to build my online portfolio, and so much more. When I venture out into the real world in a few short months, I’ll have a network of 200+ professionals I can turn to.
How it can be your story: At PRSSA-UD, we host multiple events to help you meet and network with local professionals – all you have to do is show up! Our biweekly meetings feature a variety of local professionals. We host Night With The Pros in November, a panel-style discussion with four to five local professionals, each willing to share their experiences and tips with students. We host the Spring Networking Event each May, in which students “speed network” with professionals in a more personalized setting. We take field trips to PR agencies and departments; we provide scholarships for students to attend PRSA Delaware, PRSA Philadelphia, and PRSSA regional events.
My story doesn’t end here. Through PRSSA, I strengthened my leadership skills and learned important management skills. I prepared myself for the “real world.” Finally, I found fabulous friends and study buddies that helped me get through all those tough communication courses (including research methods!).
What will your PRSSA story be? Join us on Monday, September 12, at 5:30 p.m. in Gore 102 to begin your story.
Posted by Abby Stollar, PRSSA-UD Chapter President. Find out more about Abby by visiting her website at http://abbystollar.com or tweet with her! (@abbynicole1204)
Getting ready for the year ahead! A picture of this year’s executive board at our summer retreat.