In 45 days, approximately 1,000 PRSSA members from across the country will gather to attend the PRSSA 2009 National Conference in San Diego. Even though it’s my third Conference, I know this will be a valuable experience and such a great opportunity for me to grow as a young professional.
It’s not always easy to fund a trip in the middle of the semester when we all have other expenses and responsibilities. I’ve had to miss a couple of classes and had to save up months in advance to make sure I could pay for the trip. Even so, the past two Conferences have been worth every cent, and this year will be no different.
Think of Conference as an investment, much like when you purchase stock. Do you see huge returns right after buying a lot of stock? Probably not. In the long run, however, you’ll see positive returns if you make the right choices.
Here are ways Conference can provide ROI to you:
- Companies, agencies and organizations looking for future employees will be at the Career Exhibition. If you make a solid impression with them and properly follow up, it is very possible you can land a job or internship because of your participation at Conference.
- There are other career opportunities and sessions to help you prepare for interviews, build your portfolio and perfect your resume. Having a new and experienced set of eyes look over your materials can help spot mistakes.
- If you haven’t been able to explore all of your career opportunities through classes and internships, you will be able to check out public relations practices from more than 15 different industries. Whether you’re interested in public affairs, health care or environmental communications, you can find your niche and progress in your career path.
- Where else do you have access to 1,000 fellow students and even more professionals? Conference provides many networking opportunities for you to meet the people you will most likely be working for and with when you graduate. A strong network will help you down the line in seeking employment and new business opportunities.
- To tie in the above points, Conference is also a chance for you to focus on your career plan. If you ask questions during sessions, meet new professionals and keep in touch with your new network, you will have a solid foundation to move forward with your career. You’ll also have a network to guide you toward accreditation, higher education and a successful career.
It’s not easy to put a monetary value on what you can learn from Conference, mostly because it’s hard to put a value on your network, knowledge and relationships. I’ve met fellow students who have become close friends and soon enough, some will be my trusted colleagues. I am always learning from them and they are always pushing me in the right direction. To me, that’s priceless.
If you have been to Conference before, what did you get out of it? For those of you who will be attending for the first time, what are you most looking forward to? Are there any questions we can answer about Conference?