1. Scholarships and grants
PRSSA members have access to more than $50,000 worth of scholarships and awards to apply for annually. Scholarships are not only a great way to fund your education, but also a way to enhance it because of the application process of writing and critical thinking. As a member, you also qualify to apply for National Conference grants.
Now that you’ve outlined a budget, attend one of PRSSA’s events. PRSSA hosts three national events annually, including the National Conference, National Assembly and Leadership Rally, as well as several Regional Conferences. There are opportunities to meet with speakers and industry professionals, network with PRSA professionals and put your resume to work at career exhibitions, which feature some of the largest companies and firms.
Having attended each of these events has increased my public relations competence and has opened endless doors for my future career.
PRSSA members can compete in many national competitions including the Bateman Case Study Competition and National Assembly’s Day-of Competition. Competitions stretch creativity and set PRSSA members apart by helping them develop leadership, organization, planning and implementation skills. There are a plethora of mini competitions being held regionally by other Chapters. Many of these competitions can be found on PRSSA National’s social media channels.
Participating in competitions has supplemented my learning in the classroom as well as my strategic planning for tasks and initiatives at work. Competition experience build confidence and can help you edge out the competition in your next internship or job interview.
4. The Internship Center
You’ll never miss out out on the perfect internship or job as a PRSSA member. Members have access to the PRSSA Internship Center and the PRSA Jobcenter for exclusive job listings. Both sites allow you to search for employers throughout the country. Internships and jobs can be searched by city, location, name, job type, and part-time or full-time. Members can also upload their resume so companies can find them as well.
I’ve been employed by companies who use the Internship Center for recruiting. It’s a useful tool and provides members with key job descriptions and opportunities to apply for. Why not search using a database that is actively looking for future interns and employees like you?
5. Reading and Writing
PRSSA National’s publications are most impressive. When you read through FORUM, the national online newspaper, you’ll find articles about improving your experience in PRSSA, how to prepare for job interviews and what other Chapters are accomplishing to elevate their Chapter and membership experience. PRSSA’s national blog, Progressions, is full of content sharing top-of-the-line advice and insights of relevant public relations-related trends. Membership also comes with access to PRSA publications, including PRSA Issues & Trends, PRSA’s online publications, Public Relations Tactics and PRSAY.
Every public relations professional’s best advice to students is to become strong writers. In response, PRSSA invites all of its members to contribute to its national publications.
Those of you who are members of PRSSA should embrace all the benefits the Society has to offer. Those who haven’t joined yet, you’re are missing out.
Jon Kovach Jr. is the PRSSA 2016–2017 vice president of member services. He is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in public relations and business minor at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. He works for Coldwell Banker Commercial Advisors as a public relations assistant and focuses on public affairs, government and community relations and economic development. Kovach lives a life mixed with business and adventure and he is often found exploring any of the U.S. National Parks. Follow Jon on Twitter at @jon_kovachjr.