By: Jennifer Eskridge
As a new member of PRSSA, I am determined to make the most out of what this organization has to offer. To me, this included making the journey to Atlanta at the beginning of this month for PRSSA National Conference. This conference was a great learning experience as it introduced me to the professional world, as well as the fascinating experiences that conferences can hold. Here is a list of the top five lessons I learned while attending conference!
1. Don’t be afraid to be alone.
Now I’m not saying it’s a smart idea to wander around an unknown city alone. By this I mean go to the speakers YOU want to listen to regardless if anyone else from your group wants to. My favorite and most fulfilling sessions I attended were the two I went to by myself. Not only did I get to learn from the professionals that interested me, but it gave me the chance to network with students from other chapters.
2. Everyone wants to network.
As future public relations professionals, we are entering a world where everyone wants to know everyone. As a student, I found it intimidating to speak with the PRSA professionals when in fact, they absolutely loved getting the chance to share their experiences with students.
3. Dress the part.
The biggest and most helpful step in preparation for this conference I took was investing in a suit. Each morning I woke up and suited up for the day. I left my room feeling confident and ready to network!
4. Bring business cards.
Unfortunately, I did not bring any business cards with me this trip and it something I regret. I still found it possible to network and make connections without business cards, but they serve as that simple reminder of you after the conversation has ended.
5. Take time to have fun!
During my time in Atlanta I was able to learn so much and network with many of my peers, but some of my favorite memories happened outside of the hotel walls. When you attend conferences the main goal is to learn, but getting the chance to explore a new city is all a part of the experience! Even if it means getting caught in the rain.