A College Freshman’s Perspective on the Benefits of Joining PRSSA

Photo courtesy of creativecommons.org.
Photo courtesy of creativecommons.org.

On a large campus with over a thousand student organizations, the options were endless and everyone seemed so passionate. With so many opportunities, how was I supposed to know what was right for me? Before I started my first semester, I was determined to figure out if public relations was the right major for me, and because I wasn’t enrolled in any public relations classes, I had to go about answering this question through a more creative route. I had heard about the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) from one of my professors and I figured that was my answer. 

A Warm Welcome

I attended the first meeting and was truly shocked at how inviting everyone was. The atmosphere was welcoming and encouraging. Rather than being told to take a seat as I walked through the door, I was welcomed by handshakes, smiles and introductions. I immediately felt that I was somewhere I wanted to be and somewhere I would be able to immerse myself in knowledge and experience. When I reflect upon my year, I can easily recognize that being a member of PRSSA as a freshman has an irreplaceable role in my interest and newly fostered passion for the public relations industry. Hearing from successful industry professionals like Scott Farrell, president of global corporate communication at Golin, and several others, assured me that the limits of a public relations degree really do not exist.

A Network of Peers

Hearing from professionals is great when looking toward the future, but creating a network with other public relations students has been most valuable throughout my first year in college and in PRSSA. My Chapter’s mentorship program has been my most practical resource when trying to discover where to go and what to do to advance my experience in public relations. A mentor within my own Chapter has been through what I am going through and has offered the most personalized and relatable advice.

My First Impression

Whether I choose to work in the corporate world, for an agency, in the United States or around the world, the need for communication is inevitable everywhere and I am lucky to have learned this so early in my career. Hearing from successful professionals, advisory panels and my senior mentor through PRSSA has encouraged me to learn more about the field and truly understand the impact that we, as communicators, can have on the world.

How did you discover PRSSA at your university?

Jordan McCrary is a freshman public relations major from South Florida. She will be serving as the 2016-2017 vice president of member services for the University of Florida PRSSA Chapter. Jordan can often be found drinking iced coffee, talking about her dogs or volunteering at a local Gainesville elementary school.

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