PRSA Foundation PRSSA 2017 National Conference Grant

Photo courtesy of Shannon Jack, Ohio Northern University

On the very first day of my intro to PR class, my professor, Lynn Applebaum, informed us about a grant by the PRSA Foundation that would be awarded to eight students around the country to attend the PRSSA National Conference in Boston. She told us how to apply, offered to write recommendation letters to those interested in applying, and offered to work with each of us to critique and refine our resumes and our 250-word statement.

She offered all of this during our very first PR class. Five of us applied for the grant (my PR class at City College of New York is pretty awesome) and she worked with each and every one of us, just as promised. I wouldn’t have been able to attend if it wasn’t for her above-and-beyond approach as an educator. So this post is dedicated to her. Thank you Professor Applebaum!

I simply can’t think of a better start to my PR professional career than the PRSSA 2017 National Conference. From the intimate Fireside Chat session with former PRSA , to the insightful one-on-one resume critique and mentoring session with Dr. Joe Trahan, I have never learned so much in such a short amount of time. I’ve also never fully recognized the scope and importance of the PR profession until coming to Conference. The more I learned, the more I realized how much I didn’t know and the more eager I became to find out. I acquired so many practical tips and personal guidance that was based on my qualifications and experience. I was able to take this counsel back home with me and apply it as outreach director of the youth center that I am proud to work for in Brooklyn, New York.

I understood that Conference was all about networking. This was the both the unspoken and spoken rule. I wasted no time getting as many business cards and as much contact information as possible, especially from professionals who worked in specialties that interested me the most.

I can’t forget about the students who were handing out business cards like sticks of gum throughout the entire Conference. These were the true underrated all-stars who would define the PR profession in the years to come. Exchange contact information with these future game changers? Please and thank you. By the end of Conference, I had a thick stack of business cards. If my LinkedIn profile could talk, then it would thank me profusely for finally giving it a social life.

I am honored and grateful to have attended the amazing Conference that I know will shape and mold my public relations career for years to come. For the friends and networks that I have made, to all the lessons that I have learned, not only about the PR profession but about myself as well, I say thank you to all who made this Conference possible and thank you to all who granted me the opportunity to be a part of it.

By: Saam Hassan

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