Oprah Winfrey has a net worth of $3.2 billion dollars and was in TIME Magazine’s “25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century.” In high school she participated in drama club, debate club, student council and won a full scholarship to Tennessee State University. Moving forward Oprah went on to become Miss Black Nashville and Miss Tennessee her freshman year of college which then lead to a couple job offers at CBS…
AND THE REST WAS HISTORY
I have been a part of the student run PR agency, Central Communication Agency (CCA), for a year now. Currently I am the Senior Account Supervisor (SAS) for my client Winegar’s in which I lead my own team, organizing events and promotions. I’ve also been an active member for Central’s PRSSA chapter since fall 2014 and joined the board this year as the VP of Public Relations (PR). I believe:
staying actively involved in your field gives you the upper hand you need when competing for the job of yourdreams
When I hear “Oprah Winfrey” I think SUCCESS. Oprah is a self-made woman and it wasn’t just by chance, she BUILT her brand through engagement. By staying involved you are able to benefit in multiple ways:
Expand your Network
What does an empty resume say about you when applying for a job? That you’re not ready and under qualified. The experience you gain during school can be applied towards building up your resume.
Now that you have something on your resume you can start preparing for your career. Making a portfolio goes hand in hand with your resume; it allows you to show actual pieces of your work rather than just reading about it.
If all you’re doing is studying and not actually participating how do you know if this field is right for you? Being involved let’s you figure out if this is really what you’re passionate about.
Staying involved gives you the experience needed to apply towards your career. Through such activities you are also given the chance to meet others in your field
Who understands the day-to-day struggle more than someone literally doing the exact same thing as you. By the time you’re a senior in college you start to see a lot of the same faces in your classes. Through agency and PRSSA I was able to become very close with my colleagues. We can go to each other for help and motivate each other to be better.
Since I have taken on leadership roles I have made a presence in my department as one of the student leaders. So not only am I building a relationship with my peers but members of the department as well. Which I can then use as references upon graduation. This quarter I was even invited to the Department Chair’s house for dinner.
From networking you are also able to make more connections on your LinkedIn profile. Since we are shifting from paper to online, LinkedIn has become the leading site employers use to see your professional profile. The connections you make can endorse you and leave recommendations on your wall.
Being apart of organizations allows you to build up your network and make a stronger presence in your field. Through experience and networking opportunities will arise
Every year PRSSA has a National Conference somewhere in the states. If I didn’t join PRSSA I wouldn’t have been able to go to Atlanta and meet all the PR professionals I did and sit in on all the seminars. While at Nationals I actually met a student at California State University Fullerton and got our chapter invited to their regional conference in March.
In PRSSA we also had a guest speaker from PRSA Puget Sound come in and offer everyone a chance to apply for their mentor program. Through the mentor program we will receive a mentor in the field of interest we
want to go in and they will shape us into better PR professionals.
This year I went on an agency tour in Bellevue at WE Communications. The internship program they offer is very competitive and they told us the best way to get a foot in the door is by reaching out to someone who works there. Luckily for CWU students an Account Executive there graduated from Central and founded CCA. If I weren’t in CCA I would have never been given the opportunity to visit this agency or get that advantage. This goes with the saying it’s not what you know but who you know.
Staying involved in your field gives you opportunities to grow. Through my time in agency and PRSSA I was given multiple opportunities I wouldn’t have if I wasn’t involved
Overall putting in time outside the classroom can only benefit you more by increasing your experience, expanding your network and opening up doors to opportunities. What sets you aside from the next person is how committed and passionate you are. Branching out and making a presence will get you where you want to be.