First of all, congratulations on attending the best college EVER. There is something indescribable about Ohio University and Athens, OH that you don’t understand until you’re walking across these red bricks. But the next great choice you made was stopping by the PRSSA and ImPRessions booth at the Involvement Fair, or attending one of our info sessions; whatever brought you to our organization. You’re doing great so far, but there’s one last decision you have to make: whether to stick with our organization and really get involved, or cut it from the long list of things you tried out. I’m here to hopefully sway you toward the former.
You won’t really begin taking classes specific to your major until spring of sophomore or fall of junior year. PRSSA and ImPRessions give you the opportunity to get hands-on experience and learn more about the field of public relations. When interviewing for internships, I talk more about my experience with this organization than I do about a class I’ve taken. It builds the foundation of your love for the work you’ll do for the rest of your life; and if you find out you aren’t passionate about it, you can change your mind without panicking.
If you haven’t already, you will soon learn of the magic that is the Bobcat family. Ohio University alumni will bend over backward for fellow bobcats. That same practice extends throughout PRSSA, but it isn’t just limited to OU. You can meet people from all different chapters willing to help you find an internship or a job, all because you’re a member of the same organization. Add that comradery to the Bobcat Blood, and you can basically get the job or internship of your dreams.
We are so much more than a Monday-meeting group. Sure, you can show up each week, listen to the speaker and go home at night, no problem. But there is so much you will miss. Aside from the obviously beneficial networking trips, committees and national events, there are twice as many bonding experiences to bring you closer to the chapter and each other. Mentor/mentee events and socials introduce you to new people, and before you know it you’re studying for exams and going to the dining hall together. I met my absolute best friends at those Monday meetings, but our experiences extend much further.
I could talk until I’m blue in the face about why you should be a part of PRSSA and give your heart and soul to this organization, but blog posts are meant to be relatively short. So if you take anything away from this, let it be the experience, professional connections and friendships you will gain from our chapter. You’ve made great decisions up to this point, so why not keep it going?
Erica Stonehill is a senior Strategic Communication major. She is also the Vice President of Scripps PRSSA. Follow her on Twitter @estonehill13.