By: Hope Salyer
You hear it all the time, “You need to network.” As college students juggling about one million and two things at a time, networking isn’t always at the top of our list. We think we’re “too busy” or we just don’t know where to start. Well, I’m here to let you know that your PRSSA Regional Conference is a great place to start.
I attended the Grand Rapids PRSSA Regional Conference this year with two of my fellow EMU PRSSA E-board members. We’ve decided to do a three-part series as a recap of the event, and I’m here to share my experience at the conference on Friday.
Friday morning started out with a road trip to Grand Rapids with Nicole. PRSSA conferences are a great way to connect with your fellow PRSSA members, and it all starts with the traveling experience. Just another reason to join your local PRSSA Chapter.
Once we arrived at the DeVos Center, we headed straight to our first stop on our tour of Grand Rapids: Wolverine Worldwide. When we got to Wolverine, we were greeted by friendly staff members, and taken to a large conference room where we had the chance to hear from Corporate Communications Manager Ainslee Neitzel.
Neitzel talked to the group about her perspective on corporate communications. One of the biggest questions PR majors have to face as they near graduation is what type of PR they want to go into. Typically, the top three choices are agency, corporate or nonprofit. Most PR students, however, focus on the differences between agency and corporate and this group was no different.
After Neitzel gave a brief background on herself and what her day-to-day job looks like (hint: no two days are the same), Neitzel offered to do a question and answer session. It’s no surprise then that most of the questions focused on what corporate communication is like.
Most students typically go on agency tours and learn a lot about what agency life is like, but the corporate side is kind of like that shadowy area in the Lion King: it’s just unknown and off limits.
Following the Q&A at Wolverine Worldwide, the group traveled down the street to Seyforth PR. The agency gave us an interactive tour of the facility and allowed us to see the projects the teams are working on. There was also a brief presentation on the team’s work with McDonald’s, which of course included some free T-shirts and coupons!
The night ended with a networking mixer at Lambert Edwards & Associate’s Grand Rapids office.
For more information on Saturday’s events and sessions, check out Nicole and Abby’s posts on our blog!
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.