By: Hope Salyer
Why join PRSSA? That’s a question I get asked a lot as an E-Board member for our Chapter. Students want to know why they should join an organization that brings in people to lecture and costs $65 to join. The last thing full-time or even part-time college students want to do is listen to another lecture at 5:30 p.m. on a Tuesday and have to worry about coming up with an additional $65 for school. Trust me, I get this. But I’m going to tell you three reasons why you should join PRSSA anyway.
- Lifelong relationships.
Trust me when I tell you that some of the best friends I’ve gained at my time at Eastern have been from joining PRSSA. PRSSA isn’t solely about career building. It’s a great organization for that, but it’s also a great organization to join if you want to make new friends. At EMU, our PRSSA Chapter holds socials about as often as we have guest speakers. We try to keep a balance between social and professional development, so it’s really the best of both worlds.
With that being said, this organization is filled with students like you who have a lot of the same goals and majors you do. These students understand what you’re going through. PR is one of the most stressful careers you can go into, and that stress definitely begins during your time in college. Joining PRSSA allows you to make friends with people in your major that can help you during those stressful times. These people know PR campaigns, they know social media, they know how to write a plans book. If you need help, you can look to any of your fellow PRSSA members and I guarantee they can help you out. This goes for when you’re in college and even after you graduate.
- Professional development.
PRSSA offers so many opportunities for professional development. We’re going into a field that is growing and has a lot of job opportunities. Public relations is also one of the most competitive fields to break into. Because of this, PR students have to begin professional development during college. You need to know how to write a resume and cover letter that is going to get you noticed. You need to have experience in the public relations field before you graduate. Ideally, this should come from multiple internships, but if you only have one, you need to be able to show the experience you have gained from your courses and student organizations during an interview. PRSSA is going to give you these experiences, and it will also teach you how to articulate the experiences you already have to a hiring manager.
I know you hear this all the time, but networking is so important these days. You have to make connections with people so you will have those relationships to draw on later when you need them. Now I get it. You’re a busy college student. You don’t have time to seek out a mentor. You don’t have time to attend these workshops and conferences your school provides you with. I know all about being busy, but you will make time for the things that are important to you. With that being said, PRSSA makes it easier for you to make those connections without the excuse of you being busy. This is a great student organization for PR students to take advantage of. You can attend conferences, meet professionals in your local area, and gain extra knowledge and experience that you can’t get in the classroom.
As a PRSSA member at Eastern, you meet every two weeks for an hour and a half. During this time, you can make friends, work on professional development, and network all at the same time. College students love to multi-task, and PRSSA is a great option for you to gain the skills and experience you need for life after college. These are my top three reasons for joining PRSSA, but I want to know what your top three are. Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to join your school’s PRSSA Chapter!
Hope Salyer is a junior public relations major and journalism and communication double minor. Hope is serving as the Chief Financial Officer of EMU PRSSA. This is Hope’s first semester serving for the PRSSA E-Board. A Michigan native, she hopes to start her career working for an agency in the Detroit area. Her dream is to become the public relations coordinator for the Detroit Tigers. Contact Hope on Twitter @hsalyer01 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.