Some of the best advice I’ve heard as a student in the UCM Public Relations and Strategic Communication (PRSC) program came from one of my professors about setting expectations. I’m an active member and officer in our Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter. This semester, we’ve had a hard time as an organization increasing our membership and meeting attendance rates. What used to be an organization with 30+ members now has maybe eight—on a good day.
All semester, we’ve been debating the question: how are we going to fix this problem? Just last week, our professor and advisor chimed in with what I believe might be the solution to our problem. He said the reason our organization had so many members in the past was because the previous members made it the expectation that to be in the PR program was to be involved in PRSSA.
That got me thinking, in what ways has the UCM PRSC program set my expectations?
In this blog I have compiled the top three ways the UCM PRSC program has set my expectations to be the best student and future employee I can be.
Expectation 1: Don’t limit yourself
This first lesson of not trying to limit myself occurred toward the end of my first semester as a PRSC student. PRSSA elections were coming up and I was looking to get involved in the program. I knew that running for a position would be a good way to do so but I was nervous to run for one. I tried to limit myself because I thought I wouldn’t be a good fit since I didn’t have a lot of experience with PRSSA.
However, when one of my professors asked me if I planned on running for a position I told her I wasn’t sure if I should. That’s when she told me not to limit myself and that I can’t tell myself I’m not good at something if I haven’t even tried it. That really changed my perspective from then on. Now, I don’t try to tell myself that I wouldn’t be a good fit for a job if I haven’t even tried to apply for it.
Expectation 2: Be creative and stand out
Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can be scary, but exercising creativity helps you stand out from your peers. Growing up, we’ve been told how things should be done; that if things are done with this certain formula, we’ll be set for success. This is certainly not the case in public relations.
Do you think that any of the top performing businesses or PR agencies would have won the awards given to them if they didn’t break the formula and strive for innovation? The answer is probably not. This is why I take the basics of what I learn and then apply it with my own touch to express my creativity, because I certainly won’t get anywhere with the same technique everyone else is using.
Expectation 3: Grow your network
Continuously seek opportunities to grow your network! Without the connections the PRSC program has helped me build, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today in my field. Professionals enjoy building relationships with college students because they know they have what you need after college, a job. By putting in the effort to want to be at professional events, asking questions, and reaching out afterwards, professionals will notice and be more willing to help you land that job.
So get out there, be yourself, and find those endless opportunities! The UCM PRSC program has helped me discover that for myself.
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