I have been in the Marist College Red Foxes PRSSA chapter since my freshmen year. I remember speaking with students part of the chapter before I enrolled as a student here at the Accepted Students day. It got me so excited about my major that there was a student organization dedicated entirely to public relations. There was no question that when I attended the Fall semester activities fair of my freshman year, that the PRSSA table would be my first spot.
Since my sophomore year I have been on the executive board (e-board) of the chapter and I’ll never be able to fully express how being a part of this chapter has enhanced my education and prepared me for the professional PR world. From networking events to guest speakers, I have been involved in a lot of PRSSA activities. The chapter was newly created my freshmen year and it has come a long way.
My first position on the executive board was as the Vice President of Chapter Development). My main job was coordinating with guest speakers regarding their visits, booking rooms for the events and getting the events catered. This gave me the amazing opportunity to understand event planning as well as speak one-on-one with the guests. As a sophomore, I learned the logistics of my college which has helped me plan more properly for future events.
My second position was as the Vice President during my junior year. My focus that year was to assist the President as well as the other e-board members if they needed additional help with any of their responsibilities. By the second semester of my junior year, our advisors made it their priority to give me specific mentoring and leadership training to prepare me for my presidency. I entered my senior year with ease and confidence in running the chapter.
Now, in my second semester as President, I am so proud of the chapter. My other e-board members are so reliable and have been doing an amazing job. We have a full functioning newsletter, student-run firm and social media outlets. As I said earlier, the chapter has improved so much over my 4 years with it. Not only are the e-board members impressing me but the general members are as well! Everyone wants to contribute and be involved as much as they can, whether it be writing articles for the newsletter or being a staff member for the student-run firm. Everyone is so eager to learn and I love their enthusiasm.
In addition to all my on campus work, I was able to attend the 2010 National Conference in Washington D.C. and the Leadership Rally in Scottsdale, Arizona (which is exclusive to incoming presidents and most expenses are paid for my PRSSA!) Both of these experiences are completely irreplaceable. The National Conference was a huge event in filled with workshops, lectures and networking opportunities with other PR students and professionals. The Leadership Rally was a great step stone from Vice President to President with training from Nationals.
I have learned so much from my experiences with PRSSA that I’ll be so sad to leave at the end of the semester (but I have every confidence in my Vice President!). I’d have to say the most I got out of it was the leadership experience/training. I have overseen and managed numerous members of a team and learned to be a mentor to enhance their skills. I am so grateful to have taken advantage of this opportunity.
If you are a PR major and your school has a PRSSA chapter you need to get to their first general meeting this semester to join! Don’t just join to attend meetings but join to invest in your future and really contribute to an amazing organization. You’ll thank me for it!