A Student’s Take on Pro-Am Day
April 13, 2012 2 Comments
Earlier this week Cincinnati PRSA hosted local PRSSA students for their annual Pro-Am Day. Students from Xavier University, Northern Kentucky University (my alma mater, woot!), University of Dayton and Miami University took advantage of this great networking opportunity.
The event started with a panel discussion with 3 Cincinnati PR professionals with varying backgrounds and levels of experience discussing the things they wish they would have known early on in their careers. To see the highlights from the event check out my storify post from the luncheon.
After the panel discussion students were able to shadow the area’s top professionals to get a taste of what the “real world” is like.
As the Cincinnati PRSA New Pros committee chair I had the opportunity to recruit and pair these students and seasoned pros together for the job shadowing portion of the day. Throughout the pairing process I was surprised by the varying degree of responses I received from each student. For some students I felt like I was pulling teeth to get a response for an event that could land them a job. Needless to say, I was a little surprised.
Fortunately, to counterbalance the lack of responsiveness from some students, there were tons of students who were on top of their game. One of these students was Rachel Drakulich (@RachDrakulich) from The University of Dayton. Rachel stays kind of busy being the President of UD’s PRSSA, the Marketing Team Leader at University of Dayton Recreation Complex and being the Assistant to the Office of the President at Sinclair Community College; all while taking a full load of classes.
Because I was a bit surprised by some students lack of interest in Pro-Am Day, I asked Rachel to take a minute and share her experience. If you’re a student considering participating in Pro-Am Day, or other networking opportunities with professionals in your area, take a minute and check out what Rachel had to say about her Pro-Am Day experience: (Thanks Rachel!)
In May I will graduate from the University of Dayton and I am also the outgoing president of UD’s PRSSA chapter. Prior to attending PRSA Cincinnati Pro-Am day for the first time ever, my expectations were relatively high based on other professional networking events I have attended in the past. Throughout my time as an undergraduate I have come to understand the power of networking and the importance of learning from experienced professionals. This rang true during my whole Pro-Am experience.
I was fortunate enough to enjoy a delicious lunch with two of Northlich’s employees, Jessica Kelly and Kate Bebee. During lunch we talked about their past experiences and how they ended up in Cincinnati, my future plans after graduation, and started following one another on Twitter! As the luncheon ended, I had a stronger sense of pride for the public relations field based on the panel discussion.
Jessica and Kate then took me to shadow Northlich. The other employees welcomed me with warm smiles as they showed me around the office. My favorite part about the whole day was listening to Jessica’s and Kate’s experiences and what they have learned in their few years out of college. They shared the mistakes they experienced as interns, the hours spent working on events, doing their first cold call to a reporter, yet it was all worth it for the satisfaction when they saw their first hit in the media.
Overall, the scope of information I gained from Pro-Am day exceeded my expectations. I am a strong advocate for events such as Pro-Am day because of the benefits and experiences members of both PRSA and PRSSA receive from one another and the relationships that blossom as a result.