Take a moment to think about how many “awesome” people are in your PRSSA network across the nation… you may have pictured a few people who are familiar faces in the @PRSSANational or #PRSSA Twitter feed, maybe some friendly faces you miss from last year’s National Conference, or possibly even some mentors who have graduated and transitioned into full-time jobs.
However, don’t forget your network at home – your Chapter is full of contacts, too, and this network within your Chapter may very well be one of your best resources for Chapter and professional development.
During initial meetings this semester, take some time to encourage members to share where they are interning or where they hope to intern. If you take the time to really build a network within your Chapter, the possibilities of connecting with and for each other are endless!
Other opportunities for networking include:
- National Assembly, National Conference and Regional Conferences.
These events are recognized for connecting students across the nation. If you are looking to intern out of state, see if there were any Chapter members who made friends at previous National events or other activities. It’s likely that someone in your membership has a friend who attends school in the area whom you can be put in touch with. You never know, that contact may even have a reference for the organization or company you’re looking to join!
- Upper-level members who may already have a strong network in local markets.
Chances are, someone in the room may already be working at an agency or corporation and is available to connect interested members to their leadership. These members may already know the culture of the company and the ins and outs of what it takes to get your foot in the door.
- Your Advisers and professors, who have been around the block a time or two.
While it may seem a little odd, sitting down to talk to your Chapter Advisers and professors about what they did before teaching may find you learning something you are interested in. Many Advisers and professors have friends outside the school (weird, I know!) whom they can put you in touch with if you are interested and show promise to follow through.
About the blogger
This is a guest post by Kendall Schmidt, an intern with Edelman Austin. Schmidt was the PRSSA 2011-2012 vice president of Chapter development and is a former Chapter president of Texas State University PRSSA.
Where do you find opportunities to network? Share them with us!