While in an interview for a public relations internship, my interviewer asked me why I was not a member of my university’s chapter of PRSSA. Not only did I not have an answer, but I also had no idea what the acronym meant. As a junior in college with a major in advertising and public relations, emphasizing public relations, you may be thinking “how could she not know about PRSSA?” I will tell you, I was asking myself the same question. I decided to learn not only about what PRSSA stood for but additionally who they are, what they do, and if it was an organization I wanted to join.

PRSSA: Public Relations Student Society of America

If you are like me and did not know what PRSSA stood for, here you go: Public Relations Student Society of America. Feeling embarrassed and out of the loop, I hopped on to Grand Valley State University’s PRSSA website immediately after my interview. 

What does Grand Valley State University PRSSA look like?

Grand Valley’s chapter of PRSSA is a pre-professional organization preparing students for their future careers in public relations or communications through speakers, workshops, agency tours, PRSSA national trips, and their student-run firm, GrandPR. 

After learning that, I ran to join and became an official member in January of 2022 — starting my new year off in the right direction, I would say. Here is a little bit about the opportunities I have experienced since joining, and the opportunities available to future members:

  • Bi-weekly meetings with professional speakers
  • Networking with other PR students regionally and nationally
  • Professional development: resume critique, agency tours, mentorships, workshops, and exclusive internships
  • Real-world experience with GrandPR & other local PR firms
  • PRSA professional luncheons and socials

Now looking at that list, I also noticed another unfamiliar word –– GrandPR. 

What is GrandPR?

GrandPR is a nationally affiliated, student-run public relations firm created and managed by student professionals attending Grand Valley State University. The staff is made up of over 20 student professionals, bringing together previous internship, educational, and personal experiences to produce quality work for its clients. After navigating through the website and socials, I got in touch with the CEO about becoming a member. I had the opportunity to interview and was onboarded as an Account Associate for the firm. Currently, I am working for two clients in the research phase of the two campaigns. I cannot wait to see my team’s campaign put into action and see the impact of our work.

Better fashionably late than never

I wanted more experiences and opportunities to explore my major and career path before my graduation, and joining these two organizations was the way to do so. I have been fully immersed in the PR world like I never thought I could be, and I am enjoying every moment. I have been exposed to like-minded individuals who share the same passions and goals, and getting to work alongside them has been inspiring. These two organizations have shown me why I chose PR as a career path in the first place, and have made me a stronger candidate for the professional world. 

It is never too late to expand your horizons and make yourself better equipped for your future career. If you are pursuing a degree in a communications-related field, I strongly encourage you to check out PRSSA. Grand Valley communication students, now I am speaking to you: Join GV PRSSA, join GrandPR –– join an experience that is invaluable to both your personal and professional growth. 

Find more about PRSSA here

Join Grand Valley State University PRSSA Chapter here

Apply for GrandPR here.

About the Author:

Cassandra Morris is a senior pursuing a degree in Advertising/Public Relations and Marketing. This is her first year with PRSSA and GrandPR, where she serves as an Account Associate. After graduation, she aspires to work in Boston, MA for a PR or marketing firm.