By: Cathy Pace
As a freshman I fell into the trap of not getting involved. Despite hearing graduating seniors and alumni all state this as their biggest regret of their college career, I remained isolated from the various opportunities offered on campus.
Although I did not find an organization or group I connected with my freshman year, I did decide my major: integrative public relations. By the spring of 2015, I had signed my life away to earning a degree in a field I would learn to love.
Going into my sophomore year, fall 2015, I was focused on not only becoming involved recreationally, but also finding things that would help add to my arsenal of experience. There was consistent pressure to gain “resume builders” and be one step ahead of everyone else.
As a student studying PR it made sense to join organizations affiliated with the field. I had heard of PRSSA, but did not know much about it. I was nervous to step out of my comfort zone and attend the introductory meeting. Up until this point, I had never gone into something completely blind without being accompanied by a friend or acquaintance. I was pleasantly surprised by all of the friendly faces and the handful that were familiar, as well.
Throughout the semester I had the opportunity to work with my peers and discuss scenarios and tactics that will help prepare us for our future. I had the privilege of hearing various professionals speak about their careers and gained insight on what future employers look for in their employees. I joined the publications committee and have been able to meet a new, smaller group of people on an individual basis. My first semester as a part of this committee has taught me the importance of deadlines, it has required me to collaborate with others and overall, it has given me writing experience. Without this committee I would not be nearly as involved as I am today.
My first semester as a member of PRSSA has been insightful. I have gained so much more than another bullet point on a resume. I have made friends, I have learned so much and I still have room to grow. I hope to connect with a variety of people this semester and develop skills that I have not yet mastered (like design...). I am grateful that I pushed myself to get involved, and I know I chose the right organization to become a part of.