By: Aaron Robert

As a freshman starting my college career, nothing excites me more than joining clubs and meeting new people. Once I declared my major in Advertising and Public Relations, I wanted to jumpstart my career in this exciting and emerging field, but I wondered…how? 

As I was waiting for my advertising class to start one day, a representative from GV PRSSA walked in the classroom and dispersed flyers about the student organization. After attending the general meeting, I can tell GV PRSSA will provide me with a plethora of resources and opportunities to start my career. 

As of right now, during the first week, I am working on my writing and graphic design skills through blogging. Already, I have joined the Content Creation Committee (this blog being my first project….ever), and have volunteered for the upcoming Warrior Dash race. I expect plenty of more opportunities to come.

In addition to blogging and volunteerism, GV PRSSA also organizes agency tours in Grand Rapids (of course), Detroit, and Chicago. They are planning to collaborate with neighboring PRSSA chapters, such as Ferris State, for social outings. 

Since GV PRSSA has PR professors and industry pros onboard, they provide members with a host of professional contacts and networking events. They even help members with constructing resumes and how to kill that first internship or interview. 

Also, GrandPR, the on-campus Public Relations firm, gives GV PRSSA members a chance to enrich their public relations experience by working with real clients in the local area. Such clients include Meadows Crossing Apartments, GVSU, Grand Rapids Latin American Film Festival, Artprize, and more. Just think how enjoyable (albeit probable very stressful) it is to launch PR campaigns for exciting events in downtown Grand Rapids, such as Artprize. There are so many opportunities for GV PRSSA members to grow as a PR professional, and I cannot wait to begin working with this creative group of individuals. 

Throughout my college career, I plan to utilize these resources that GV PRSSA offers and especially look forward for the year to come. Even as a freshman, I have many ideas to bring to the table. For instance, as I was walking through the crowded aisles at Campus Life Night, I meet some extraordinary people representing many volunteer organizations which give back to the community. Some of these organizations helped children in need of tutors, the elderly in need of company, and the homeless in need of basic necessities. 

Other groups included students fighting against large-scale injustices such as human trafficking or sweatshop operations. In the future, I believe GV PRSSA can help these fellow student organizations with some good PR and fundraising efforts. (What could be better than helping the community and developing your professional skills simultaneously?) With a large membership, and a dedicated board, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what to expect in the future.

In all, 2015-2016 looks like a year of growth and new ideas. From collaborations with other chapters, to social outings, industry tours, and many other ideas floating around, GV PRSSA will provide outstanding resources and fun memories for everyone involved (I can’t wait to roll my sleeves up and get started!). As the President, Tyler Lehner, said during the first meeting, “You have to actually want something. PRSSA offers the resources to get it if you want it.”