In college one of the greatest ways to gain professional experience and expand your knowledge of your major outside the classroom is by getting involved. Luckily for us Scripps Kids, the journalism school has some top-notch extracurricular activities that students can be a part of. PRSSA and ImPRessions are two of these amazing organizations.
Both yield so many amazing benefits; I could go on forever about why I love each of these organizations. However, when you join both PRSSA and ImPRessions instead of just one or the other, it can be extremely beneficial in the short and long run.
1. You learn skills, and then in return experience how to apply them. PRSSA is a great organization to join if you’re interested in exposure to the many kinds of PR. You get to hear from a wide variety of speakers who are experienced in their jobs and enthusiastic about their day-to-day work. You learn what it’s really like in the world of PR and what’s important to take away from your time here at Scripps.
However, just learning about what you need to know isn’t enough. You need to have hands-on experiences with these skills to really become a master at them. This is why joining ImPRessions in addition to PRSSA is so helpful. You get to perform real tasks for real clients, which the PRSSA speakers elaborate on during presentations.
2. You make more personal connections with members. Because PRSSA meetings are only an hour long, with much of the time being taken up by announcements and speakers, there just isn’t time to connect with fellow members during the meetings. Of course you eventually begin to recognize familiar faces, but without exchanging of names and conversation, it’s hard to bond in that time frame every Monday night.
When you join ImPRessions in addition to PRSSA, you get the opportunity to meet for an hour with a more personal group of people. This allows for a better chance at having casual conversations and making friendships with fellow members. You get to become more familiar with some of the people you see every Monday night at the PRSSA meetings, which no doubt encourages positive relationships between the members of our PRSSA chapter.
3. You have a greater opportunity to hold a leadership position. Running for the executive board in PRSSA is a great way to get more involved and gain potential experience with having a leadership position. However, with only nine available positions, this makes elections quite competitive. With the new revamp of ImPRessions, new director positions have been added, giving members a chance to hold a higher position.
In ImPRessions you can also become an account supervisor or an account executive, which are also both great ways to gain leadership experience and learn how to manage groups of people. By joining both organizations, you have a better chance of being able to hold a leadership position, which in return looks amazing to potential employers.
4. They complement each other on a resume. Being able to put that you’re a member of PRSSA looks great on a resume – it’s even better when you say that you’re a dues paying member. Paying dues may seem like an expensive investment, but the rewards of doing it really are worth it. It comes with benefits that can help improve your skills and facilitate your entry into the wonderful professional world of PR. When you pay dues you also are exempt from paying ImPRessions dues, pretty much making ImPRessions membership an additional bonus to PRSSA. So why not join both?
Both of these organizations provide their members with experience that can be used in college and on after in a professional job setting. You get to learn things that will be used in the future, while making positive relationships and connections in the process.
-Mira Kuhar is a sophomore studying strategic communication with a business minor and English specialization. Follow her at @MiraKuhar.