National Conference was one of those things I thought I should go to because I’m a senior. I had also never been to Atlanta before and figured it would be a great opportunity to explore a new city. Also, when I found out the Hunger Games was filmed in our hotel for the elevator scene, I registered for PRSSANC like,
I knew National Conference would be a great experience, but I could have never imagined I would have gotten as much out of it as I did. Here are three huge takeaways I got from this year’s National Conference:
1. Don’t be afraid to stand up and ask questions
At the end of every professional development session, they gave us time to go to a microphone and ask any questions we had. This may be intimidating for some people, but it is a great way to network with professionals and get helpful insight in the PRofessional world.
Always be curious and always ask questions. Curiosity often impresses professionals, so step out of your comfort zone and go for it!
2. Keep an open-mind when exploring a new city
Like I said, I had never been to Atlanta before so I had no clue where to go for entertainment, food, etc. With some help from brochures and Uber driver’s recommendations, we got some great experiences and memories in Atlanta. Some highlights we had were from going to Coca-Cola World and the Georgia Aquarium. On the last night, we even took an elevator 74 floors up to see amazing views of the city!
When visiting a city you are not familiar with, all I have to say is go with the flow. You’ll have so much fun if you just roll with it without trying to control everything.
3. Be yourself
Going into National Conference, I wasn’t really that close with anyone in PRSSA. Of course I had acquaintances with people I talked to here and there, but no one I was too close with.
I really opened up and acted myself on this trip and I walked out with so many closer relationships. I’m so #blessed I have a closer bond with my PRSSA family and all the memories I have from Atlanta.
Just be you. Even if you look like a fool with a Polar Bear hat on in Coca-Cola World, people will love you for being yourself.
Seriously, it is never too late to go to National Conference. It doesn’t matter if you’re graduating in less than 6 months, or in 3 years. National Conference has so much to offer, and I highly recommend you take advantage of the opportunity!
Hayley Baldzicki is a senior studying Communication Studies specializing in Organizational Communication & Health Communication with a minor in Journalism. Follow her on @hayleybaldzicki!