As another semester of learning ends, I’m appreciating the discoveries and lessons I’ve experienced this fall…
1) Students are amazing. I’m always impressed with my students’ energy, drive and focus. They’re part of a much-maligned generation, perceived to be coddled and entitled. But more often I see 18-22 year olds who participate in clubs and volunteer for multiple causes, and who are truly caring, accepting and appreciative individuals. Older students fill their incredibly busy lives with career and family while still finding time to enhance their knowledge and credentials. And they’re getting jobs. One example is that our last four PRSSA chapter presidents are now working in two New York City agencies: Hunter and Burson-Marstellar.
2) Professionals are cool. My students and I connected with so many helpful PR practitioners this semester through the PRSSA networking dinner, PRPLI’s holiday mixer, an agency visit, classroom guest speakers, the PRSSA national conference, and internships. Whether recently employed or PR veterans, these professionals provided students with priceless encouragement and advice.
3) Technology is hot. The more I teach current online and desktop public relations tools, the more I realize how much more there is to learn. Introduction of new platforms and software seem to know no end, and it’s a challenge to stay ahead of the curve. Educators have to be up to the challenge or fall behind their students’ own knowledge base.
4) Hofstra is high. We were all thrilled to learn that according to a new LinkedIn ranking system that measures career outcomes, Hofstra is the second best school in the nation for finding media jobs. This, combined with our School of Communication’s high retention rate, a growing number of students majoring in PR, and a burgeoning PR graduate program, makes Hofstra a great place to be. The Pride is high!
5) Commencement is coming. Next Sunday I’ll have the honor of serving as Graduate Marshal for the mid-year commencement ceremony. Watching students finally get their diplomas is very rewarding, and I love being part of one the most joyful days in their lives. So congratulations, graduates…you’re amazing! Your thoughts?