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PR society gives students professional edge, first-hand experience

Being part of any club at UM is usually a nice addition to any student’s resume, but some organizations provide experiences that go far beyond that. The Public Relations Student Society of America is one of those clubs.

Since PRSSA started at UM in 1981, students have acquired skills from professional development workshops that translate into experience for the job/internship opportunities that the club offers.

Senior Alexa Ferra has first-handedly experienced the benefits of PRSSA.

“An employer is always going to pick the candidate that shows more initiative and drive, and PRSSA helps demonstrates that,” Ferra said, “PRSSA also sends weekly e-mails with internships and job opportunities that are exclusive to PRSSA members. We’ve had plenty of our members apply for these internships/jobs and get hired.”

After four years of membership, Ferra has taken on the role of president – and thanks to PRSSA, she’s ready for the Public Relations field.

“Graduating in the May, I’m pretty confident that I will have a job in PR,” Ferra said, “PRSSA helps you stand out from the sea of applicants and gives you an edge over your classmates…If I can stress anything it would be to join young and reap as many benefits as you can.”

Numerous speakers per semester-including TV personality, Spero Canton last fall-are one of the perks.  Senior Bethany Hickey, VP of Membership and Alumni, credits PRSSA for her successful job-hunt.

“The speakers have had the most impact on me — particularly the one last semester with Suzy Buckley, the editor of Ocean Drive magazine,” Hickey said, “She really showed us what you can do with a lot of motivation, and she also gave us a lot of tips on how journalists and PR practitioners can work together.”

These events help shape students into credible potential employees.  UM’s parent chapter, PRSA, is located in Miami.  With over 10,000 students and advisors in the PRSA and PRSSA nationwide, members have an immediate network at the tip of their fingers.

“It’s really important for PR students and their peers to know how to market themselves in the industry. Without PRSSA, I don’t think I would understand this concept quite as well,” Hickey said.

There are more than 60 members in PRSSA, and the club continues to grow each year.  Sophomore Ashley Krones recently became a member- and so far, it’s been extremely rewarding.

“Surrounding myself with people who have the same interest as me has even helped motivate me more to get involved,” Krones said.

For $65 annually, any student can be a member of PRSSA.

There are several upcoming events: Fall/Spring Induction will be held on Monday at 6 p.m. on the third floor patio; and the Real World PR workshop takes place on March 7 at 6 p.m., with location TBA.

Chelsea Frankel may be contacted at cfrankel@themiamihurricane.com.

For more information about the PRSSA, please visit www.umprssa.wordpress.com.  Feel free to contact umprssa@gmail.com with any further questions.

February 22, 2011

Reporters

Chelsea Frankel

Contributing News Writer


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.