This week, our Content Creation Committee members wrote about the take home lessons from our last General Assembly meeting on October 22nd. But it wasn’t just any old meeting. Grand Valley Advertising and Public Relations grads – some weren’t even alumnas for a year yet! – got in front of the group and told us what they’re doing now in their careers, what they did right, and what they wish they would’ve done while still in our shoes.

Needless to say, it was an evening of eye-opening advice. One of our members even made a class change after our Alumni Panel Night! Read more for individual member take-away’s. #GVPRAlum

Alumni Panel Night by Ashley Pratt


Follow on Twitter: @ashpratt7

The Grand Valley Alumni Panel Night was an insightful meeting held on Wednesday, October 22nd at the PRSSA General Assembly. Five lovely and talented ladies came to speak and share their experiences in the PR field after graduation. Each alumnus offered great tips to the members of PRSSA and told stories of their journey on how they became the professionals they are now.

The alumni encouraged the PRSSA members to network with various professionals and reach out to mentors. “If you find a professor or a person you work for and connect with, take them to coffee and pick their brain.”

A PRSSA member asked if any of the alumni found themselves taking their work home with them and if it affected them negatively. Megan Susterich answered:

“Its okay to take your work home with you. We’re still young.” Megan explained how she would rather take the extra work home with her instead of letting an older coworker take it home. She said she is still young and can handle the extra work while her coworker has a wife and family to come home to.

Another great tip Megan Susterich gave was to “Work until you no longer have to introduce yourself.” She encouraged PRSSA members to work up a name for themselves so when you walk into a room people will know you. This was her goal and her dedication to keep working hard!

“Being able to be a part of a launch for a client and overseeing a project is my favorite part of being a PR professional,” said Ashley Curd. Ashley spoke about being able to see a project go from bottom up and she was pleased to be a part of such a successful result.

The alumni left the PRSSA members with a drive for perseverance. “Don’t give up on job searching. You never know what could open up at your internship.” The alumni told the PRSSA members to not get discouraged when there isn’t an opening for a position at the company your interning for. Instead, they encouraged the members to keep searching or even keep asking your employer if you could have a full time job after your internship. You never know what can turn up.

A huge thank you goes to these lovely ladies that spoke at the PRSSA meeting! Their tips and stories are greatly appreciated! 

PR Peers Give Great Advice by Kayla Foster


Follow on Twitter: @kayla_foster

At our last meeting we were lucky enough to get a few words of wisdom from past Grand Valley PRSSA members. Each of the five ladies who came back to answer our questions works in a slightly different areas and/or settings of PR, which meant many different perspectives. 

Although they gave us a lot of good advice, a few things really stuck out to me.

1.      Networking!

Like we haven’t heard that before. But no matter how tired you think you might be of hearing it, it’s true. People who network go far. Sometimes in order to get a job it’s not what you know, it’s whom you know. That being said, network, network, network!

2.      “If you’re scared, do it anyway.”

This is great advice in any situation really. In any job you’ll have there will be things you’re afraid to do. It could be things you’ve never done before or things you have maybe tried before and failed at, but don’t let that stop you. There is always room for improvement, and who knows, you could be great at something but never know because you were too afraid to try it.

3.      Lie out your daily goals and prioritize them.

 I am a HUGE fan of to-do lists! I write one practically everyday. I try to prioritize them as well, putting the most important things on top and working my way down (even if the list doesn’t always get finished in that order). There is truly no greater feeling than crossing things off your to-do list.

4.      Maybe some math…

I know what you’re thinking, “I’m in the School of Coms, and I don’t do math.” Me either. But a few of our alumna panel pointed out that they deal with math on almost a daily basis. Now of course not everyone will, but it is something to consider. Who knows, you could end up in investor relations and a finance background would really come in handy.

All in all, the alumna panel gave some great advice. In fact, between them and our agency tour the week before at Full Circle Marketing & Design, I signed up for a marketing class next semester. Advice from your peers is always helpful, thanks again to our #GVPRAlum panel!