“Eighty percent of life is showing up.” — Woody Allen
When students roll their eyes at the notion of attending PR-related events outside of class, I feel compelled to make the argument that it’s for their own good. And, to be sure, it is.
Countless students have found internships, gotten interviews and been offered jobs from those they met at PRSSA-sponsored events. They’ve also participated in professional development events held by organizations such as the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) or the Public Relations Professionals of Long Island (PRPLI) that sometimes charge a fee. I suggest the $10 or $20 cost is a small but very worthwhile investment in their futures. Some on- and off-campus networking events and professional programs are free, so the only investments needed are time and a personal commitment to create opportunities.
There are always good reasons NOT to show up at an event. We can all point to other obligations, from jobs to homework to family to going out with friends. But each time we don’t participate, we’ve missed a chance to meet people who can help us learn and grow professionally.
If you’re a student, some of your fellow classmates (and your future competition for jobs) get it. They understand the need to make an effort if they’re serious about a public relations career. They’re also the ones who get hired soon after or sometimes even before they graduate.
For 30 years, I was pretty much never hired after answering an ad. Just about every position I’ve held, client I’ve signed, and PR campaign I’ve conducted, began with a professional relationship I had made with someone who was later in a position to hire me. In fact, I got my first PR job when I was recruited by a former classmate who then held a corporate position. The moral of the story: You never know who’ll end up in a place of influence and importance.
So, make friends with the person sitting next to you. Come to on- and off-campus events. Participate, network and learn. Show up. Your thoughts?