The Transformative Impact of Attending ICON: Champions Breakfast and Key Takeaways.

You’re a senior in college, months away from graduating and entering the real world. What do you do now?

This feeling is not foreign to any of us. I’m sure we’ve all had these internal questions and worries in the back of our minds. As college flies by and graduation seems to creep up in the blink of an eye, it’s completely normal to feel lost and unsure about what your future holds. 

This is EXACTLY how I felt the summer before my senior year. I recently decided to graduate college a year early, a decision that is exciting yet extremely frightening. I felt anxious about my future and how to start my career. 

This was all until ICON 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. One weekend: three jam-packed days of incredible networking opportunities and keynote speakers, completely changed my life. 

One of the most notable ICON events for me was the Champions Breakfast on Sunday morning. Myself and the rest of the PRSSA students had the incredible opportunity to connect with PR professionals. Each individual offered invaluable industry insight into their personal experience and shared advice for incoming industry professionals. I had the privilege to speak with Anthony D’Angelo, APR, Fellow, PRSA and David Grossman, APR, Fellow PRSA, both incredible Champions and I learned four important things. 

  1. Always ask questions and stay curious. It is important to ask “why?” and constantly challenge yourself to think ahead. 
  2. Don’t be afraid to take risks and be confident in your skill set. When making decisions, it is important to understand your strengths and weaknesses and use it to your advantage. 
  3. Showcase your personality in your cover letter. The cover letter is the perfect opportunity for you to stand out. Do your research and cater to the specific job description. 
  4. Informational interviews are the way to go. Informational interviews are the best way to expand your network and connect with potential employers. It’s a great chance to ask questions and build effective and valuable relationships. 

These are just a few of my key takeaways from the Connect With Champions Breakfast. The myriad of networking tips that the professionals offered, allowed me to gain confidence about how to move forward in my professional journey. 

PR is as much about relationship-building as it is about communication. Nurturing genuine connections with fellow professionals, media, and the public is crucial. The world of PR is dynamic. Continuous learning, through formal education, workshops and networking, is essential for success in the industry. 

ICON, brings public relations/communications students and professionals from around the world together and allows for the building of lifelong connections. I am so grateful to have connected with like-minded individuals, forging relationships that could potentially shape my future career.

Navigating the transition from college to career can be challenging, but ICON provided me with the resources that I needed to succeed. I encourage every public relations student to attend ICON during their college career. The connections that you make at the Conference is so valuable and the experience is unparalleled. 

Chloe Chee is a senior at Emerson College in Boston, majoring in public relations with a minor in marketing. Born and raised in the vibrant city of New York, Chloe’s upbringing amidst the vibrant blend of cultures, stories and businesses naturally cultivated her passion for PR. Chloe has been involved with PRSSA since her freshman year of college and now serves as the Social Media and Historian Co-Chair at the Emerson’s Chapter. Her experience with New York’s spirited culture, mixed with Emerson’s rich academic setting has shaped Chloe into a dedicated student and aspiring PR professional, ready to make her mark in the world of communication. In her free time, Chloe enjoys attending concerts, cooking and exploring the city with her friends.  Learn more about Chloe by connecting with her on LinkedIn.

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