PRSSA helps Mercyhurst students network with professionals photo

There is a new organization on campus designed to connect students with professionals practicing in the public relations field.

PRSSA, or Public Relations Student Society of America, was established in 1968. This organization is not only for public relations majors; it can also help students in marketing, business, journalism, advertising and many other majors.

This organization has chapters throughout the nation. The chapter is set up under the Erie and Pittsburgh PRSSA Chapters. This means that our chapter here at Mercyhurst will be able to network and connect with professionals in both regions. This is unique, considering most student chapters are not able to do that. Teaming up with these two regional chapters allows us to set up our own conferences, seminars and socials.

There are events and conferences in February and March that members will be able to attend. The organization has a board that conducts meetings and makes decisions on behalf of the entire organization.

The benefits of this organization outweigh the costs by far. Not only are members able to network with professionals regionally and nationally, but they also are given a username and password to an online exclusive job center that can help them find a job or internship.

The board consists of President Brittani DeVore, Vice President of Professional Relations Andrea Conlon, Vice President of Membership Kerrie Smith, Vice President of Public Relations Sarah Hricko, Secretary Katlin Hess, Treasurer Grazia Padgett, and Webmaster Marissa Lewis. The faculty advisor for the organization is Meghan Corbin.

The national conference is held in San Diego in November. The organization would love to attend and should be able to with some fund-raising.

Some employers are specifically looking for PRSSA members. There are also competitions in which members can be involved. Scholarships and award programs are other benefits of PRSSA.

“I’m looking forward to the events we can attend. I would like to hear from other professionals in the field,” junior member Jen Mieczkowski said. “I am hoping to find an internship for this summer on the job center Web site.”

Treasurer Grazia Padgett said she is looking forward to the events that are coming up and all the opportunities she will have as a member of this organization.

“I want to meet public relations professionals and get their insights, attend the events and workshops and understand more about PR in the real world,” Padgett said.

If you are interested in joining PRSSA, dues for the year are 50 dollars. Please contact one of the officers to fill out a form.