Whether you are a college senior on the verge of graduation or a seasoned professional looking to meet up with others working who share your passion for PR, NETWORKING is definitely the key.
I drive about 30 miles from Belton to Waco to attend CenTex Chapter of PRSA meetings. The CenTex Chapter encompasses the Waco, Temple, Belton and Killeen areas. The contacts I’ve made, the friendships I’ve forged and the speakers I get to listen to make the short trek up I-35 well worth a little drive time.
I enjoy getting the chance to meet influential PR folks (business leaders and Baylor professors) from the Waco area. CenTex PRSA holds monthly lunch meetings on the second Thursday of each month from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. and feature a speaker. Last week’s speaker was Jill Anderson, a Public Relations Officer at the Methodist Children’s Home in Waco. Anderson reiterated that working for a non-profit is definitely challenging. You wear many hats. She travels to the various locations in Texas and New Mexico. She plays the role of reporter, photographer, videographer and publications editor. Her goal is to share the success stories with donors and supporters. MCH currently has a Special Events Assistant position that might be of interest to you PR majors wanting to focus on non-profit work.
The old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” holds true. While your skills and knowledge are crucial to getting you in the door, it’s the connections you develop along the way that make all the difference in the world.
Don’t wait until graduation to start the networking process. START NOW!!! Take advantage of every opportunity you get, engage and participate. Although you are ‘just’ a college student, don’t hesitate to create and hand out business cards. Establish connections and maintain contact with your newly established contacts. You never know who knows who, and just where that next potential job offer might come from.
Good luck and happy networking!
You just never know where that next big opportunity might be lurking. Take this week for example. Each semester, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been arranging for my Intro to PR class to tour the UMHB Musick Alumni Center and Museum and learn about university-wide PR. Today as I entered the “Purple N’ Gold” meeting room on the first floor of the alumni center, I saw two new faces. Oh and did I mention I was running late. The joys of the I-35 expansion project plus a little drizzle equals a traffic nightmare – yes it can happen in the great Temple/Belton metroplex we live in. But I digress.
The two new faces just so happened to UMHB alumni. Trish Woods, UMHB Alumni Association board president, and her Z Option co-worker Shari Alexander shared an incredible internship opportunity with my PR students. What could be better than spending an entire week at Disney’s Epcot? That question definitely got my my classes’ attention. I mean, what could be better than an all-expense paid, week-long trip to Florida for a trade show.
There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not students should be paid for internships. In a perfect world the answer would be YES, YES, YES. But it seems to me that the experience students get shouldn’t be negated. And that’s what I stress to my students. My PR majors land internships at non-profits, firms, with campus departments, etc. More often than not, these aren’t paid internships. Never the less, the skills my students learn and the contacts they make are invaluable. Some fields just tend to offer more in the way of paid internships.
The Intern Economy http://theinterneconomy.tumblr.com