It’s the end of my seventh year of teaching at Hofstra and as it concludes, I am one proud professor–proud and happy for my students and their many achievements. So many undergraduates will successfully complete four years–and graduate students two years–of studies and hard work, and are now preparing to pursue their public relations careers.
Undergraduates never cease to amaze me. Their knowledge, instincts and range of experiences will serve them well as they begin their search for employment. I’m thrilled when they share their news of a job offer, which some have already received. And another diverse group of students with little previous exposure to PR earned master’s degrees and will soon embark on fulfilling their career potential.
As always, many of the most productive moments this year were initiated by members of PRSSA, Hofstra’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. These enthusiastic young women and men again staged an extremely well attended networking dinner, a fully-realized professional conference, visits to Manhattan PR agencies and the national PRSSA conference, and several outstanding professional development programs. Their energy and desire to learn is infectious, and together we enhanced our out-of-the-classroom experiences exponentially.
This was an extraordinary academic year for Hofstra, starting when we hosted the first 2016 Presidential Debate and ending with continued news of the university’s growth and prominence. The world around us was politically-charged, filled with occurrences (and future case studies) that left many of us scratching our heads. Public relations’ best practices were violated, corporate PR blunders piled up, and trust in institutions fell to an all-time low.* Students have learned that more than ever, ethics, honesty and transparency are essential for building trust with clients, brands and leadership.
Congratulations and best wishes to the Class of 2017. I always feel incredibly lucky to be part of what you’ve experienced. And for the classes of 2018, 2019 and others to come, I’m always anxious to hear your concerns, share your ideas and work for you to enhance your experiences as you, too, prepare to become public relations professionals. Your thoughts?
*Source: Edelman Trust Barometer