One of the greatest experiences of my life so far has easily been studying abroad and, believe it or not, International Conference plays a significant role in why I was able to get the most out of my time abroad.
I joined PRSSA exactly a year ago, leading up to the Conference in Austin, Texas made a quick decision to go because of all the positive reviews I was getting from my e-board and friends in PRSSA at the time. Once I arrived, I realized in order to get the most out of this conference, I had to step outside my comfort zone a bit and put myself out there. I had to force myself to start conversations with fellow members and professionals and that turned out to be the best decision I could’ve ever made. Conference didn’t feel like an obligation where you have to dress up and act professional in hopes of landing a possible internship or help bolster the Chapter you represent back home. It was enjoyable and I met many people from different walks of life that I am still in contact with today. Conference left a positive lasting impact on me and it carried over into my semester abroad the very next spring.
Studying abroad was a very unique experience because it was able to put someone who hardly goes on vacation out of his home state in a completely different country, thousands of miles away from everything he knows. On the first day of orientation, I was waiting in line to get my schedule and I randomly decided to put myself out there and start talking to the people in line with me. Fast forward three months and I am traveling to six countries in 17 days with a couple of my best friends that I met in that exact same line. If I wasn’t able to come outside of my shell, who knows how my experience in England would have turned out and how many friends I would have worldwide as well as an opportunity to look further into public relations jobs with the connections I made at my host university, Oxford Brookes.
International Conference was able to benefit me when I barely knew what PRSSA, nevertheless Public Relations, was. It helped me develop into the person I am now and I cannot wait until October so I can do it all over again. I would like to urge everyone reading this to attend this year’s International Conference in San Diego because not only will it help your career in the long term but you could even make a few friends along the way. I’ll see you there!
Milan Williams is currently a senior majoring in Public Relations at California State University Sacramento. He serves as the District Ambassador of the North Pacific District. His goal is to eventually return to England and continue a career in PR.