PRSSA is a pre-professional organization focused on enhancing knowledge of public relations and providing access to professional development opportunities. The student organization is open to all majors and can be incredibly beneficial for women majoring in a Communications related field. “PRSSA has made me lifelong friends and built myself as a women and a leader. Being a part of this organization has given me the confidence and tools to succeed once I graduate,” said Erica Everett, the current USF PRSSA Executive Board President.
1. Expand your PR knowledge
Throughout the semester meetings feature guest speakers from multiple professions within the communications field. Not only can this be a wonderful networking opportunity, it is also a platform to ask questions and get answers from a reliable source. Case studies and textbooks are valuable tools but speaking to professionals will only increase your understanding. There are also workshops throughout the semester that give you time to work with relevant tools in the field. In an ideal world all of our tuition money would go to teaching us everything we need to know about the public relations and communications field; unfortunately, neither we or our professors are superheroes but PRSSA can give us the extra skills and information that we may miss.
You need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience- The Catch 22 every student faces. PRSSA gives the opportunity to gain experience which will then set you apart from other applicants.
One of the crowning glories of USF PRSSA is KnoBull PR. It is a student run PR firm now in its third year of operation which works will local businesses, non-profits, and other student organizations. There are various services offered within each account, allowing members the ability to focus on different aspects of a public relation campaign depending on their interests.
The USF PRSSA webpage also regularly posts new internship opportunities in the area. Furthermore, you can write for the USF PRSSA blog and gain writing experience.
P.S. These are excellent ways to expand your portfolio and résumé.
3. Leadership Opportunities
There are multiple positions within the organization to gain leadership skills. Within the student run PR firm and the executive board there are many occasions where you can hone in on your leadership skills. Studies have proven that some Americans find women stronger than men in terms of being compassionate and organized. For most, these skills require practice, and within PRSSA there are multiple opportunities to do so.
4. Scholarships and Awards
There are various scholarships and awards you can apply for at the national level. It is needless to say that free money is always welcome but the scholarship itself could be put on your résumé. The honors given to you by PRSSA would set you apart from any communications student. PRSSA and its parent organization, PRSA, invest in the future of the field and its aspiring professionals.
5. Regional and National Events
A National Conference is held every fall and a National Assembly is held every spring along with other regional events. They are one of the most beneficial and inspiring trips you could take in your college career. At these events you can network with your peers across the country as well as professionals within the field. The events give insight from leading professionals to where the field is heading, and tips on how to better yourself.
6. Empowering and Supportive People
Everyone in PRSSA is looking to be successful, but no one is looking to tear each other down in order to get to the top. Each individual has a passion for the industry and it is apparent in everything they do. When you need advice, help on an assignment, or when you are searching for a professional connection there is no better group of individuals than those in PRSSA. It is a group of strong personalities, but only in the best way possible. PRSSA is my Sorority and within it I found my Sisters and Bigs.
There are multiple opportunities within PRSSA to set you up to be future a #girlboss.
Written by Kalyn Nylander