By Victoria Maseda, Director of Finance
The beginning of the school year brings many opportunities to start anew. If you are searching for relevant experience public relations experiences on campus, then here are the top ways to expand your skills:
1. Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)
PRSSA is a nationwide organization made up of more than 11,000 students in 300 chapters. Penn State’s Lawrence G. Foster chapter provides students interested in public relations and communications with hands on industry experience and networking opportunities. Industry professionals are invited to speak at monthly meetings. Speakers give students insight on their day-to-day jobs and their companies, as well as provide advice on how to break into the industry. Members are encouraged to attend weekly meetings with the committee of their choice. Each committee — fundraising, event planning, philanthropy and communications — challenges members to apply their public relations skills in a realistic settings on campus.
2. Happy Valley Communications (HVC)
HVC is a student-run public relations firm offering pro bono communications campaigns to clients nationally and locally. Account Associates and Creative Associates work on teams with Account Executives to develop social media plans, traditional PR programs and creative materials. HVC strives to strengthen professional relationships with the firm’s clients and its publics.
3. PR Leadership Role in a Student Organization
Student organizations often have a public relations or communications position on their executive boards. These leadership roles are prime opportunities to utilize your public relations knowledge base to implement tactics that aim to spread your organizations’ mission or events. Organizations ranging from Greek life to THON to Homecoming look for members to spread awareness through traditional public relations and social media tactics. This is a great opportunity to share something you are passionate about and highly interested in with your Penn State peers.
4. On Campus Internship with the University
Summer is not the only time to intern! Various departments across Penn State’s campus search for interns at the beginning of each semester. If you can find the time in your class schedule to intern part-time, look for opportunities in Penn State’s public information department or athletic marketing communications. The College of Communications frequently emails opportunities to students on the college’s listserv. Utilize these internships to build your portfolio and make connections.
So what are you waiting for? Get involved and jumpstart your public relations career today!