Why I Joined PRSSA and How It’s Benefitted Me

By: Sammy Chmara

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Before this past August, I had little knowledge about the Public Relations industry and what exactly it meant to work in “PR.” After the first few classes of my Introduction to Public Relations lecture, I immediately became interested with the field. I wanted to somehow gain more experience and expertise in a more hands on setting, besides simply sitting in a classroom listening to a professor talk about it twice a week. I did some research on what UD had to offer and came across PRSSA UD’s chapter website. I attended the first meeting where a UD alumni shared her story and career path with us, and I realized that these meetings were something I wanted to participate in more regularly. Even only after a few months of being involved, I feel much more knowledgeable about much of what goes on in the field of Public Relations. Some of the areas I feel much more knowledgeable in are:

Job Preparation. The workshops and skill slams that PRSSA has held in regard to preparing students to find internships and jobs has been extremely helpful. I have learned the importance of LinkedIn and how to structure my profile so that employers are more likely to view it. Tips for composing a strong resume have also been acknowledged in meetings such as what important information to include and what order to follow. Additionally, the interview process has been outlined guiding us with principal suggestions for how to get that next job or internship. I feel much more comfortable and relieved knowing that I have been exposed to workshops and skill slams that go over such crucial aspects of job preparation that any individual in the Communication field can benefit from.

Jobs in the PR Field. The different speakers that have presented us with their stories and current jobs has been very helpful. It’s helped me to learn about all the different job paths one can take in PR, and which areas interest me the most. UD alum Colleen Cordaro, a current social media manager for Anthropologie, shared how her prior Communication related experiences helped land her a job with such a big company like Anthropologie. Another speaker, Robin Lornfink, discussed her job as executive director of campaigns and strategic initiatives of CHOP and how one can work in health and hospital PR. The speakers who come in frequently have made me more aware of how PR is involved in so many different fields and that is needed in so many different careers.

Being a member of University of Delaware’s PRSSA chapter has been one of the most rewarding experiences within my college experience so far. I am so grateful that there is an organization on campus that not only teaches students about the PR industry, but allows them to participate in a hands on approach. I look forward to how PRSSA can continue to benefit me moving onward!

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