As public relations students and professionals, we understand the importance of efficient communication. Our success lies in our ability to form lasting relationships and communicate effectively with clients, key publics, media and co-workers. Some public relations professionals were born with a natural aptitude for the career. Their effortless charm, creative thinking, leadership abilities and strong writing skills guided them to the profession, while others obtained these qualities a bit differently. Whether it was during a public speaking class, holding a student government position, joining an extracurricular activity or doing a community service project, we eventually found our niche. Mine was developed as an athlete, and I would not be the person — or professional — I am today without basketball.
When I was younger, whenever someone asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” my honest answer was always, “A basketball player.” If our future careers were supposed to be something we’re good at and passionate about, basketball seemed like the obvious choice. I had been playing since I was nine years old, and at the time I thought I was destined for the WNBA. However, my parents and teachers never failed to remind me that my education was most important and that my basketball career wouldn’t last forever. As much as it hurt to hear, the advice resonated with me.
As I reminisce on the journey I’ve taken with the sport that I love, I realized something undeniable. The impact this game has made on my life extends much further than a 90-foot court.
Although a good education is extremely important, sometimes, the most vital life lessons are learned simply by doing what you love. It didn’t take me long to realize I wasn’t going to the WNBA, but thanks to the skills acquired throughout my athletic career, I can now confidently say, “I want to be a public relations professional when I grow up.” Basketball helped me find my passion, first on the court, and now in life.
Shannon Jack is an aspiring public relations/marketing professional at Ohio Northern University. She is a member of the varsity women’s basketball team and was recently named Academic All-Conference. She is also a member of @ONU_PRSSA and is the elected delegate to represent her Chapter at the 2017 PRSSA National Assembly.