by: Erica Tackett
It’s internship season! Everyone is frantically running around (more like, clicking around) in search for the perfect summer internship. You’ve filled out a dozen applications and are in the process of scheduling interviews and phone calls. Your Kate Spade planner hasn’t been this packed since that one time you thought it would be a good idea to schedule a hair appointment the day before your ISB midterm.
And now, your PRSSA chapter is asking you to fill out ANOTHER application for their e-board for NEXT year? Who has time to do that?? And more importantly, why would I bother doing that when I’m busy applying for all these internships????
Well folks, there’s good reason to.
The Alumni Network
One of the more important reasons in my opinion, is the huge network of PRSSA out in the professional world. I have personal colleagues who have gotten their current jobs thanks to a PRSSA alum they were able to connect with. Similarly to how Spartans help Spartans, PRSSA alum help PRSSA alum.
The Leadership Experience
Have you ever filled out an internship application that hasn’t asked you anything about your previous leadership experiences? I doubt it. Whether you fluff up a part-time job you had over the summer, or you talk about your role in class work, leadership experience is something everyone needs to be capable of chatting about during an interview. PRSSA is a nationally recognized student organization; this isn’t an acronym you’ll have to spend time explaining. If your interviewer is in the public relations field they will know what you’re talking about. Talking about your leadership experience with PRSSA is going to “wow” the employer and look much more credible than that one time you took the lead in a group project.
Sitting on a PRSSA e-board exposes you to professionals across all areas of the profession. Depending on your position, you will be reaching out to professionals to schedule meetings, professional development sessions, philanthropy events or firm tours. If you’re interested in interning at that company later, you have someone to recommend you in-house. Not all students have this opportunity.
One of my favorite parts of PRSSA is attending National Conference in the fall. This event brings together public relations students from across the entire nation to spend a long weekend networking and talking about social media, event planning, strategy…. So basically you get to gain hundreds of contacts in your profession all in one weekend. And really, how much more seriously will you be taken with “500+ Connections” branded right next to your face on your LinkedIn profile? This weekend is booked full of events catered to helping you expand your network and overall shape your professionalism even further.
Remember when you played soccer in high school and were best friends with all of your teammates? Then you came to college and were totally bummed out that those kind of relationships don’t exist anymore. Well surprise! You’re wrong. Being on PRSSA’s e-board gives you the chance to meet at least nine other people that have potential to be your new BFF. Think I’m lying?
I could continue on this list, because the reasons are endless. You get to expand your network, gain experience, meet new people AND have a crap ton of fun while doing it. If that’s not the dream, what is?