By Megan Bayles, Waynesburg University PRSSA President
When someone hears about PRSSA for the first time, the most common reaction is, “What is that?” Most people would respond, “the Public Relations Student Society of America,” but, not me. I would respond, “PRSSA is a life-changing organization that will enhance your education, broaden your network and prepare you to succeed in the fast-paced professional world.”
PRSSA has transformed my life as a student studying public relations; opening my eyes to potential career opportunities, helping me gain national recognition, introducing me to future colleagues and providing me with additional funding for my undergraduate education.
As a freshman at Waynesburg University, I joined PRSSA, and had no idea what the organization was or what it had to offer. It was not until my sophomore year that I fully understood the organization’s member benefits, including: national publications, national and regional events, a career and internship center, professional development documents, competitions and scholarships, and access to a PRSA parent Chapter.
When PRSSA Chapters maintain and foster relationships with their PRSA parent Chapters, the possibilities are endless. As an active member of Waynesburg University’s PRSSA Chapter, I have had the opportunity, through PRSA Pittsburgh, to work hand-in-hand with some of the region’s finest public relations professionals.
Working with members of PRSA Pittsburgh has taught me how to conduct myself in a professional setting and has allowed me to network with professionals in the Pittsburgh area. These experiences have also taught me the importance of continuing my education, whether that be formally or within a professional organization like PRSA.
I believe that PRSSA lays the ground work for future professionals interested in public relations and communications. PRSA provides professionals with opportunities to continue their educations, practice their skills and give back to students in the region.
PRSA Pittsburgh has given back to me in many ways. The connections I have made by working with PRSA Pittsburgh have led to internships. The events I have attended have inspired me to become the best professional possible, and the knowledge I have gained has helped me finalize my post graduate plans.
I am excited to announce that, in May, I will begin my graduate studies at West Virginia University. While studying Integrated Marketing Communications, I will work as a graduate assistant in public relations and communications for the institution’s Reed College of Media. I also plan to become a member of PRSA Pittsburgh. It is my goal to give back to the region’s students; working with PRSSA members to mentor and assist them as they transition into the professional world, just as PRSA Pittsburgh’s current members have done for me.