Being a student in the public relations program is great because it allows for students to learn about many avenues of public relations from politics, government, marketing, etc. In addition being a public relations student allows you to take skills learned in the classroom and apply them to the real world. Another important aspect of being a public relations student is networking, because efficient and effective networking could lead to your next opportunity.
Now when we say networking most people believe this to be attending job fairs and collecting business cards or speaking with representatives of companies we want to intern or work for. However, networking is interacting with any and everybody, because we are not aware of other people’s connections, who they are or the influence they have on the industry we want to break into.
Source: Teleport My Job
For example, I was scheduled to attend a conference in Washington D.C. for the International Students for Liberty organization, however I missed my bus. I was terribly upset that I missed the conference, because I knew this event would provide me with access to people with similar mindsets and an interest in Libertarianism, which could lead to something more. However, after missing this opportunity I felt defeated, but realized there would be many other opportunities to learn from these influential individuals so instead of driving to the conference I drove to Maryland to spend time with my fiancée and our friend for a weekend.
After arriving in Maryland and getting settled in we eventually commuted to Washington D.C. to attend Ben’s Chili Bowl for some lunch. Ben’s Chili Bowl, is considered a prestigious place where celebrities frequent and success stories happen. While eating lunch one of the owners named Vida Ali, dropped by our table to inquire about the food and service. In the process she began telling us about the culture and how people that have walked through the doors of Ben’s Chili Bowl have been successful. Their mission is that when one person becomes successful they’ll come back and be influential and the process will continuously repeat.
While sitting at the table and making conversation for about ten minutes she mentioned that she was a publicist in California before coming to Washington D.C. Next, my friend mentioned that I was going into public relations and wanted to work in politics. Ali then informed me that she wants me to come back to D.C. to meet with some of her connections and the owner Marshall Brown tapped me on the shoulder to tell me that after I graduate I had a job.
The purpose of me saying this is that wherever you attend you have to be willing to network with whomever is in front of you, because the average person can be influential and carry you to your next journey. I didn’t expect to meet anyone while on vacation, but when she offered to help me, I was willing to accept it. One important thing I will keep with me throughout being a student and in my professional career is that, “if you think you can make it on your own without the help of someone else, I guarantee you cannot.”
VP of Community Relations