Freshman Today, Leader Tomorrow: Why Age Doesn’t Matter in PRSSA

Photo by Hannah Giles
Photo by Hannah Giles

One of the goals of PRSSA is not only to cultivate the next generation of leaders, but also breed new ones. Some people go through college not knowing what they want to do until mid-way through their junior year. Others have an idea, but aren’t sure of the opportunities that are available to them. When you realize what your calling is, it’s like a breath of fresh air. I realized my calling when I found that all the prerequisites for a public relations practitioner were already ground into my personality: organization, multitasking, creativity and a love for writing.

I once was told, “Pair what you’re good at with what your passion is, and you will be successful.” If you love what you do and are good at it, then you can’t go wrong. Look at the strengths you have now. Do you enjoy collaborating with others? Are you a strategic problem solver? Do you pay close attention to detail? Characteristics like these can help mold you into a future manager at top public relations firms across the nation.

Getting involved with PRSSA is one of the smartest moves you can make as an underclassman. Before entering college, I searched the PRSSA website and was delighted to find there was a Chapter at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, which I was attending that fall. My involvement with PRSSA thus far has been phenomenal. PRSSA is more than just an organization — we are a family. A family of communicators that soon will change the way the world interacts.

Don’t view your youth as a disadvantage. Yes, freshmen are young, but we have a vision as well. PRSSA has shaped my professional outlook further by refining my networking skills, providing me with interview advice and résumé- building tips and giving me hands-on experience in the public relations field. I had the opportunity to attend the PRSSA 2013 National Conference and it was an amazing, eye-opening experience. Being in a room full of like-minded people with the common understanding and goals for the public relations industry was truly enlightening. The seminars I attended ignited that flame inside, reassuring me that this is where I belong.

If I had known the vast options of the communication world at a younger age, it would have sped up the timeline of my own career path. I would have fallen in love with writing, persuasion and strategy much earlier than when I did. Young people need role models with whom they can identify. PRSSA is a facilitator that allows you to get in touch with potential mentors to guide you along your professional journey in the public relations field. Young members of PRSSA: Continue to be involved on a Chapter level. I encourage you to submerge yourself fully in the essence of public relations and take advantage of what this organization can offer you. You are in a community of people who want you to succeed, and this community will help us become tomorrow’s leaders in the public relations industry.

When and why did you join PRSSA? How has the Society helped you in your pre-professional career? Share in the comments below.

Kendal Nicole Lambert is a freshman communication major at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. She is a founding member of the Richard Stockton College PRSSA Chapter. She is an ambitious young woman who hopes to open her own public relations firm one day for health and fitness services. Follow her on Twitter @KendalFire_

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