When I first joined PRSSA as a shy, unsure freshman, I struggled to find my place and figure out where I fit in the crowd. At first, it was all a bit overwhelming and I did not know where to start. Now, in the first semester of my junior year and a member of eboard, there are a few things I would like to tell my freshman self on how to step outside of my comfort zone and get the most out of my membership. If you are a new member of PRSSA and wondering how to get the most out of your membership, here are some tips and ways to get involved.
1. Join the mentorship program
The mentorship program is, without a doubt, my favorite part of PRSSA. It is the best way to connect with an older member of the organization and they are typically your “first friend.” You are paired based on interests and personality and throughout every semester fun mentor/mentee events are held to help break the ice and bond. You can also meet with your mentor for coffee and/or dinner throughout the semester. Your mentor is there to offer advice and guidance, whether it be about classes, internships or Temple in general. Both of my mentors have been instrumental in my growth as a PRSSA member and an aspiring PR professional. Your mentors can open doors for you and are a huge asset. If you have yet to sign up, fill out an application here: https://www.templeprssa.org/mentorship-program
2. Attend networking events.
PRSSA works very hard to ensure members have access to as many networking events as possible. In a city as vibrant as Philadelphia, there is always something to attend. PRSSA works closely with PPRA and PRSA organizations to provide networking events for college-age students. PPRA hosts two great events every year: Networking 101 and Careers 101. These events allow students to meet with professionals in the field. It is the perfect way to become comfortable with meeting people, branding yourself and practicing that very important elevator pitch. PRSSA also holds a conference every year, and this year we are honored to host a regional conference. (For more information, visit: https://www.templeprssa.org/regionalconference.) The conference features a strong panel of guests, from professionals in the nonprofit world, sports, entertainment, agency and so much more. These events are the best way to become comfortable with networking and help you meet as many people as possible. Who knows, maybe the person you network with at the next PPRA event could be your future boss!
3. Join and contribute to a committee.
PRSSA currently has four committees: PR, Digital, Fundraising and Community Service. All of these committees can help you gain experience and knowledge of some different areas of PR. Interested in practicing pitches and learning how to write a press release? Join PR! Interested in writing blog posts and learning how to handle social media for an organization? Join Digital! Interested in planning fundraising events for the chapter? Join Fundraising! Interested in giving back to the community and helping others? Join Community Service! Each committee offers plenty of ways to get involved with the chapter. Fundraising and Community Service frequently hold events outside of meeting times, like food drives and visits to serve dinner at a local homeless shelter. The Digital committee allows members to sign up and contribute to the blog and to social media (TIP: these are great to showcase as writing samples in interviews and are great additions to your portfolio!). The PR committee often holds workshops to help members strengthen their skills. To learn more about each committee and how to get involved, visit: https://www.templeprssa.org/committees
Becoming an involved member of PRSSA is a crucial way to get the most out of your membership. PRSSA is always offering events, programs and workshops to help elevate your skills and open more doors for your future. Joining the mentorship program, attending networking events or contributing to a committee are just some of the many ways to become the best PRSSA member and pre-professional you can be!
This blog post was written by Caitlin Gemmi, Digital Publications Editor.