by Josie Wadlow
In the beginning of November, Ohio State PRSSA organized their first ever trip to Chicago. Members of PRSSA were presented with the opportunity to travel to the “windy city” in order to network and learn more about public relations. The benefits were endless and applicable career searching skills were learned. If you are on the fence about traveling with PRSSA, here are some reasons as to why you should.
Networking: On the trip, the importance of networking was emphasized as it is key to getting your foot in the door of the PR world. Professionals on our trip explained part of PR is “who you know”. In order to grow and expand our network of PR professionals we know, we visited agencies, participated in coffee and lunch dates, and hosted an Ohio State alumni mixer event. All of these events were intimate and an opportunity to connect with professionals on a deeper level. This allowed for us to connect with professionals from businesses such as Edelman, the White Sox, Pinterest, United Airlines, the Chicago Cubs, Zeno, Golin, and more. Spending one-on-one time with these individuals allowed for personal connections in addition to the growth of our professional networks.
Friendships: One of the main things stopping me from applying for this trip was fear of not being close with many people. I was familiar with faces and people in PRSSA, but was nervous about spending multiple days with my peers. All of my fears went out the window upon arrival due to the shared passion amongst members about PR. In addition, everyone was kind, fearless, supportive, encouraging, and enjoyable. Spending the days together allowed us to grow in our friendships making us more comfortable around one another. The memories we made were unforgettable, and I plan to engage in the friendships that began on the trip.
Low Cost: As a student, traveling can sometimes be costly. PRSSA was able to cover the cost of the hotel making the trip much more affordable. We were in charge of providing transportation and food for ourselves. However, these costs did not add up making the trip affordable for a college student.
Explore New City: Traveling to Chicago was a way for me to explore a new place I was previously unfamiliar with. With Chicago being a hotspot for PR agencies, it was beneficial to discover a city I could potentially be living in someday. While we had a regimented schedule to follow during the day, there was free time to get to know the city outside of professional settings. Gaining familiarity with restaurants, neighborhoods, shops, and more allowed me to appreciate a city that was new to me!
Take advantage of the opportunities PRSSA provides as they are designed for the benefit of students. Trips like this can help you to discover more about what kind of career you want to occupy as well as advance in finding a job for post-graduation through the connections built with peers and professionals.