As a senior, you’ve probably just wrapped up your spring break, and you’re in the homestretch before graduation. On top of your classes and homework, you’re also probably looking for a first job after college. Making this transition can be one of the most exciting times of your life, but when you’re moving to a new city or apartment or starting a new job, you are probably feeling a bit stressed.
This is where PRSA can help you out.
Being a PRSA Associate Member is an easy way for you to stay ahead of the curve, continue professional development and maintain your professional growth, as you’ll have access to some key benefits before you graduate. While you might be focused on your first job and transitioning to a new lifestyle without classes and afternoon naps, maintaining a consistent focus on professional development will help you succeed in your first job and pivot you for success in your career.
Here’s a checklist to help you transition from student to professional:
- Join PRSA. Joining PRSA as an Associate Member costs only $60 per year for the first two years after being in PRSSA. This minimal cost for membership will provide limitless return if you take advantage of its benefits, network and continue advancing your career.
- Check out the PRSA JobCenter. By using the tools on the PRSA JobCenter, you’ll be able to prepare for interviews, learn how to develop a portfolio and scan job listings. During the process, highlighting experience and leadership in PRSSA and now PRSA can help separate you from the field.
- Continue your professional development. It’s true that you won’t have 8 a.m. classes or history exams after college, but it’s important for new professionals to learn new skills. Taking advantage of PRSA’s members-only free webinars and local Chapter events will help keep your skills sharp as the industry continues to evolve.
- Get active in a local Chapter. In addition to National membership, it’s a good idea to join a local Chapter, too. Be sure to check out any volunteer opportunities within the market to which you’re hoping to move for extra opportunities to network with professionals in the area.
- Join the PRSA New Professionals Section. When you join and get active in PRSA, you are also eligible to join the New Professionals Section, which is composed of many other professionals who are in your shoes. Taking advantage of this Section is a way to make the student-to-profession transition as smooth as possible. The Section offers many ways to network with other young professionals—quarterly Tweetchats, weekly blog posts, daily activity on Twitter and Facebook, groups on LinkedIn and frequent professional development events, like webinars and brown bag seminars. Be sure to get involved with your local Chapter for New Professionals Week this November!
The days of classes, PRSSA meetings and internships are coming to a close for you, yet beginning a public relations career during one of the most exciting times for our industry is upon you. While making the transition from student to professional seems overwhelming, leveraging PRSA’s member benefits can help serve as a tour guide through the process.
What else would you add to this list?
Nick Lucido joined Edelman as an intern in May 2009 and is currently an account executive within Edelman Digital. Lucido is a member of the firm’s digital strategy team, providing online conversation research, measurement analysis and strategic insights for clients in a variety of industries. He is the PRSA New Professionals Section PRSSA liaison.
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