Yesterday I attended the sixth annual PRofessional CONNECTION. The event was held at the Tate Grand Hall, and was spectacular. PRSSA members planned, organized and hosted one of the most successful PR events I've ever attended—including National Conference in Washington D.C. this past October!
Students were able to sit in on panel discussions, have their resume critiqued, attend a career fair and even eat lunch with some of the most prestigious professionals in our area's public relations field.
As an exec member of UGA's PRSSA, I got involved with the host and registration committee; my job yesterday was to show the professionals to their table in the career fair. What a fabulous opportunity it was! I got a chance to talk one-on-one to the professionals who later had lines of 10 or more people waiting for that same opportunity!
One company I am particularly interested in is Jackson Spalding. They have an Athens locating, and a potential internship opportunity opening in the spring. I was able to introduce myself to all three representatives throughout the morning, and leave my resume during the career fair.
It wasn't until I sat with them during lunch, however, that I began to realize that these amazing women I admire and look up to had been sitting in my seat just a few years before. In fact, one professional was more similar to me than I had imagined!
We realized with were both from Tennessee and our parents had gone to high school together! Like me, she ventured out-of-state for college, and hasn't looked back since. The steps she made to prepare herself for a job after graduation resemble mine, and help me foreshadow future endeavors I should peruse.
That is the wonderful thing about PR: the people you meet. They will remind you where you came from, who you are and where you going—often, they will help you get there! It is unlike any other profession because it requires continual education, communication skills, self-motivation and persistent relationships with everyone you meet.
So, while the world of public relations is growing, the connections made daily seem to make it less intimidating and more approachable. In fact, the Disney World ride comes to mind: "It's a small world after all..." Already I have met people in PR from all over the country, and even world!