Written for PRSSA FORUM — published September 1, 2012
It finally hit me at the PRSSA Assembly in Charlotte that I have been in the industry longer than my days as a student.
As my PRSSA days have gone into the sunset, I can only reflect how my membership has impacted life as I know it. For those who haven’t heard my life story at a recent national event, I served as FORUM Editor-in-Chief in 2007-08 and was fortunate enough to meet my employer, Taylor, during my senior year National Conference.
Looking back, I can honestly say no other decision shaped my future more than my PRSSA membership. PRSSA instilled in me the importance of pre-graduation internships, professional networking and a wealth of best practices that I was able to apply across all stages of my early career.
One way or another, PRSSA determined the city I live in, the job I go to every day, the friends I keep up with on Facebook and even the woman I’m going to marry. Needless to say, PRSSA is on my Christmas card list. Enough about me – my time as a student is over.
The advice I want current members to get out of this piece is to make the most of their membership. Go to meetings, run for office, attend national events (if possible), network with members from other Chapters, contribute to FORUM, follow @PRSSANational; this list could go on, but I have a word count to keep. The benefits of the Student Society are plentiful, and you can personalize your experience anyway you feel will most effectively impact your future.
One final action item for any PRSSA member is to utilize members of the National Committee, who will have special initiatives planned for the year that will provide incredible knowledge and experience opportunities.
That’s my pep talk. I never would have believed where PRSSA could take me, but the return on investment for my dues far surpasses any box of Ramen I bought as a student.