1) We got word this week that New York State has approved our graduate program in public relations at Hofstra. It was a long, painstaking process, but the web site is up, the brochure is printed, ads will start running, and classes begin this fall.
2) With Commencement coming, many students have reported they’ve already gotten interviews and jobs. My daughter Deanna is also being interviewed as she readies for graduation–with a degree in public relations from another excellent college.
3) My colleagues with the Public Relations Professionals of Long Island (PRPLI), a leading trade and networking organization, will honor me this week with its 2013 Mentor Award at its annual dinner. Getting the award for mentoring is tremendously meaningful to me.
These events are a culmination of my belief in the strength of our industry. Public relations has truly become a respected force in the world of communications. I worked in PR for 27 years before coming to Hofstra. Now I have students who pay good money to listen to my accumulated “wisdom,” but the chats outside the classroom where we share ideas, navigate internships, discuss concerns, and examine future plans are, for me, truly the prize at the bottom of the box.
A mentor doesn’t sit and tell a less experienced person what to do; a mentor tries to help the mentee look at all sides of a situation, and then lets the mentee take it from there. I suggest to my students that in PR, networking is one of the fundamentals of success. So is good writing. And problem solving. And a catalog of general knowledge that grows through curiosity.
This exceptional time will be bittersweet for me, however, because I’ll have to say goodbye and good luck to a lot of students I’ve grown to like and really care about. I wish them all well. I hope they stay in touch. And I hope they know how much their future happiness and success means to me. Your thoughts?