More beneficial than an A plus

By: Natalie Burns

Every year, EMU PRSSA hosts a Speed Mentoring event that is valuable to not only students interested in public relations, but also those who are intrigued by marketing, communications, business and entrepreneurship. This year, the event was welcoming and inviting, as professionals all across Michigan came to talk about their successful careers.

With 10 career-driven experts prepared to answer questions and discuss their jobs, students were eager and excited to learn more about what life is like in the real world. Each student engaged in discussions about the challenges, obstacles, and triumphs that each mentor faced as they began their career after college.

Every mentor had great insight into their responsibilities in their occupations, as well as what students can do to stay focused and prepare for a better future. With positive feedback and suggestions, there are multiple concepts that can be utilized to keep any prospering student focused and career-driven.

speed mentoring

Photo taken by Natalie Burns

  1. Building lasting relationships.

We all know that building a relationship with a client or business is essential to public relations. However, Jenni Placinta from SS Digital said that, “team building and the ability to interact with not only your clients, but the people you work with is the core to a successful and happy career.” As we learn more about the world of communications, we begin to understand that truly being a team player means leaving room for positive feedback, corrective criticism, and creativity.

  1. Making an impact.

Standing out and making an impression will allow an employer to pick you instead of the other candidate. Whether it’s a specific skill that sets you apart, or a bio that makes you unique, making an impact on an employer may be that turning point in your career. Andrea Bajaj, a college recruiter at Quicken Loans, discussed the importance of not only leaving a footprint for people to follow, but also how vital individuality can be: “Knowing how to write well is really important, along with many other things, but when it comes down to two candidates, what is the employer going to remember about you?”

  1. Networking

 Networking is key to finding connections after you graduate. The more involved you are while you’re in school, the better chance you will have of landing the job you really want. Sam Plymale, who is the development coordinator for the City of Plymouth, stated, “I am always about giving back what was offered to me. Really get involved in PRSSA and the activities that are offered by the school.” Plymale explained the importance to knowing others in your field as you end your career as a student. “Although getting an A is important, being involved with extracurricular activities, internships, and hands-on experience is much more beneficial.”

Natalie Burns is a senior pursuing her public relations major. She is the Chief Financial Officer of PRSSA. She has experience in both marketing and non-profit organizations. Connect with her via Twitter @burns_natalie and Instagram @natbsweetee. You can also check out her blog at



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