We all know learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom. And similarly, learning doesn’t just happen by interning. Becoming a young, successful professional requires a combination of things, including learning from experienced professionals. As a nod to PRSA/PRSSA Relationship Month, here are a few ways you should consider expanding your network to grow and learn as a future public relations practitioner:
Connect with PRSA speakers at PRSSA meetings.
Oftentimes your Chapter’s executive board will tap into the PRSA network to bring in guest speakers for meetings. If you find yourself particularly inspired or want to know more after the guest speaker’s presentation, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask to connect one-on-one. This simple extra step of showing genuine interest in increasing your knowledge about the industry is key to advancing your career. Professionals who are PRSA affiliated generally understand where you’re coming from as a student and are willing to help when asked in a professional way.
Attend and connect with professionals at PRSA meetings.
You can’t always wait for opportunities to come to you. Local PRSA meetings, which in many cases are hosted on a monthly basis, are a fantastic chance to broaden your network. At PRSA meetings, you’ll have the chance to talk with professionals from various industries. Use this as an opportunity to not only meet PRSA members but also get a better idea of how to succeed in the industry.
Reach out to Champions for PRSSA.
Did you know there is an entire network of experienced professionals dedicated to advancing PRSSA students and their education? Champions for PRSSA brings together those who have an ongoing interest in PRSSA and its student members, and Champions often serve to counsel and mentor students. Similar to connecting with PRSA members after PRSSA meetings, you can reach out to this group of highly invested professionals to learn more about a particular specialization in public relations or gauge the public relations market in a new area you’re interested in exploring.
As a PRSSA student, you have many resources at your disposal to grow as a professional and advance your career. In our parent organization, there is a vast network of wonderful PRSA members who are ready and willing to assist your education — how will you make the most of it?
“Intern Talk” is a monthly guest column produced by Ellie Boggs, vice president of career services. The column covers various aspects of the public relations industry, giving PRSSA members the tools to secure internships and make the most of their professional experiences. For more career resources, visit the PRSSA Career Manual and Internship Center.