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potential employers at the Career Development Exhibition on Monday . This event gives students a chance to hear from agencies , nonprofits , businesses and graduate schools about opportunities available to them . Bring a polished copy of your resume to hand out to your most desired exhibitors .
The “ Circle City Celebration ” Awards Ceremony and Dinner is also held Monday . This ceremony is an opportunity to share a sitdown dinner with other attendees while celebrating hardworking members and Chapters . This is your chance to wear that fancy dress or tie that has been hanging in the back of your closet .
Unfortunately , all good things must come to an end . The “ Victory Lap ” Farewell Breakfast gives attendees the chance to reflect on their experience and say goodbye to new friends . Everyone in attendance will enjoy a continental breakfast , hear once more from the National Committee and get a sneak peek at next year ’ s National Conference . Remember , it ’ s not goodbye , it ’ s see you later .
The Conference Committee hopes to see you at Crossroads this October . Visit the PRSSA Conference website for more information and to register before Sept . 16 . Follow National Conference on Twitter @ PRSSANC and on Facebook for updates .
CULPWRIT ON CAREERS

WHAT I WISH I KNEW

Before I Fell Into My PR Career

BY RON CULP DIRECTOR , GRADUATE PROGRAM IN PUBLIC RELATIONS AND ADVERTISING AT DEPAUL UNIVERSITY
First of all , I wish PRSSA existed when I was in college . Being involved in PRSSA likely would have jump-started my public relations career . Instead , it took a few years of other jobs before I discovered this amazing profession .
OK , becoming a member of PRSSA is obvious considering this audience . However , I truly believe it is a game changer in helping launch successful careers . However , that ’ s not the only thing on my If-I-could-do-it-again wish list . So here are the top 10 things I wish I knew or learned while in college :

Attending National Conference at All Costs

BY VICTORIA LEIGH WARD
PRSSA NATIONAL VICE PRESIDENT OF CHAPTER DEVELOPMENT
From networking with top professionals in the field to meeting fellow public relations students , National Conference is without a doubt one of the top perks of PRSSA membership . This year , the PRSSA 2016 National Conference will be held in downtown Indianapolis , a metropolis thriving with diversity and new opportunities . But how can the average ramen-eating , textbook-buying college student afford the plane ticket ( s ) and registration costs , not to mention overnight hotel rooms ? Although National Conference is expensive , attendance is not impossible . This is when one must do their research , hold their head up high and get a little creative .
You may or may not know , but your PRSSA Chapter is not obligated to cover any registration costs for those attending National Conference . The FUNdraising Playbook is always available on the PRSSA website for Chapter fundraising ideas . From simple flower sales to complex galas , the playbook includes many fundraising ideas to implement throughout the school year .
For example , last year ’ s Hall of Fame winners for the Fundraising Playbook included Indiana University ’ s Greek Media Training , a small event reaching out to the Greek community on campus , which featured speeches from university officials and refreshments for only $ 10 . The Fashion Institute of Technology conducted a date night for 100 students , with raffle tickets , food and music . Along the same line , Millersville University hosted an all-male pageant featuring food , music and a “ People ’ s Choice ” award . These are just a few examples of how you and your Chapter can create a successful , efficient and affordable fundraiser when fundraising to cover Conference costs .
Consider pitching the trip to your school ’ s dean , department chair or student government — pitching is what we do best , after all . Explain the benefits and opportunities offered at Conference and ask for financial support . This presentation should include outlined budgets and details on the value of attending Conference . Most school organizations and departments appreciate the effort and want to encourage students ’ academic and professional involvement in the real world .
Whether or not your school can support you financially , the summer is a great time to work and save for Conference costs . After your internship , summer class , job or other summer activities , find time to balance your savings and determine exactly how much money you need to save or earn . By balancing your savings , you will discover what you can and can ’ t afford . You might have to limit going out with friends or eating out , but just think of these rain checks as promises to go out with PRSSA friends in October .
If these don ’ t seem like viable options , take advantage of the summer break and host a yard sale , lemonade or snack stand , or provide services like pet sitting , babysitting , or landscaping . Don ’ t be afraid to use the networking skills , event planning expertise and other lessons that you ’ ve learned as a leader and member of PRSSA . If planning a fundraising event isn ’ t possible during the summer , take the time now to plan one or two fundraisers for your Chapter before school starts . If you run out of options , you can always ask your parents for their support . They might enjoy that presentation you prepared for your school department a little more than you expected . Whatever it takes to get there , we hope to see you in Indy .

1Business essentials . Instead of avoiding courses that exercised the left side of my brain , I wish I had taken more business courses . Understanding how organizations establish and manage operations is more interesting than I feared when I avoided courses that might negatively affect my GPA . This point was firmly on my mind when my colleague Matt Ragas and I decided to write a book on the subject , “ Business Essentials for Strategic Communicators .” I think we captured all the key points I wish I had known before landing in the corporate world .

2

Don
’ t worry about the GPA . Well , don ’ t entirely forget about the GPA . Strive to keep it above 3.0 while taking courses that challenge you and make you smarter .

3Get to know all your professors , and not just the few you especially like . I avoided certain instructors who I felt were intimidating . Later in life , I got to know several of them and realized they indeed were interested in my success — even if one of them gave me a well-deserved C – in English literature . Others opened many doors and vouched for me during initial job interviews .

4Study abroad . This often is the most economical time in your life to travel and study other cultures . Not only does the experience provide a differentiator on your resume , you also will become a better global citizen . I didn ’ t make my first trip to Europe until several years following graduation , and doing so was life changing .

5Get involved in more than one campus activity — not just PRSSA . ( Actually , I was overly involved in extra-curricular activities as evidenced by my lackluster GPA .) Besides being active in my fraternity , I was president of my residence hall , editor of the student newspaper , on the convocations board , president of a statewide student political organization and had a part-time reporting job at the local newspaper . Being involved in multiple activties will broaden your networks and give you more experience .

6Become a better listener . In college , we are often asked , “ What do you think ?” We ’ re so busy worrying about our own answers that we forget to hear what others are saying . The best leaders have mastered the art of engaged listening .

7Practice being a team player . It ’ s not easy , especially when you think you have the answers .

Most leaders trace their success to great team experience in college and during the early days of their careers .

8Positive attitude is essential , even if you got a worse grade than expected . Professors are eager to help students who are actively engaged in class , the project or in the subject . No one wants to spend time with negative thinkers .

9

Create

10 trust . Be a positive role model with friends and classmates . True leaders not only exude confidence , they generate followership by gaining the trust of others .

Exceed expectations . Don ’ t be satisfied by just completing an assignment on time .
If it is due Friday , turn it in Wednesday . Carrying this habit over into your eventual workplace will make you the turn-to staffer in any organization .
I loved college so much that I stayed for an extra semester , so I don ’ t list this last piece of advice as something I wish I did : Have fun . Take my word for it , this is one of the best times of your life . Enjoy every moment while building relevant experiences and networks that will help launch your career .
6 WWW . PRSSA . PRSA . ORG / FORUM FALL 2016
GETTING SOCIAL CULPWRIT ON CAREERS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 potential employers at the Career Development Exhibition on Monday. This event gives students a chance to hear from agencies, nonprofits, businesses and graduate schools about opportunities available to them. Bring a polished copy of your resume to hand out to your most desired exhibitors. The “Circle City Celebration” Awards Ceremony and Dinner is also held Monday. This ceremony is an opportunity to share a sitdown dinner with other attendees while celebrating hardworking members and Chapters. This is your chance to wear that fancy dress or tie that has been hanging in the back of your closet. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. The “Victory Lap” Farewell Breakfast gives attendees the chance to reflect on their experience and say goodbye to new friends. Everyone in attendance will enjoy a continental breakfast, hear once more from the National Committee and get a sneak peek at next year’s National Conference. Remember, it’s not goodbye, it’s see you later. The Conference Committee hopes to see you at Crossroads this October. Visit the PRSSA Conference website for more information and to register before Sept. 16. Follow National Conference on Twitter @PRSSANC and on Facebook for updates. Attending National Conference at All Costs BY VICTORIA LEIGH WARD PRSSA NATIONAL VICE PRESIDENT OF CHAPTER DEVELOPMENT From networking with top professionals in the field to meeting fellow public relations students, National Conference is without a doubt one of the top perks of PRSSA membership. This year, the PRSSA 2016 National Conference will be held in downtown Indianapolis, a metropolis thriving with diversity and new opportunities. But how can the average ramen-eating, textbook-buying college student afford the plane ticket(s) and registration costs, not to mention overnight hotel rooms? Although National Conference is expensive, attendance is not impossible. This is when one must do their research, hold their head up high and get a little creative. You may or may not know, but your PRSSA Chapter is not obligated to cover any registration costs for those attending National Conference. The FUNdraising Playbook is always available on the PRSSA website for Chapter fundraising ideas. From simple flower sales to complex galas, the playbook includes many fundraising ideas to implement throughout the school year. For example, last year’s Hall of Fame winners for the Fundraising Playbook included Indiana University’s Greek Media Training, a small event reaching out to the Greek community on campus, which featured speeches from university officials and refreshments for only $10. The Fashion Institute of Technology conducted a date night for 100 students, with raffle tickets, food and music. Along the same line, Millersville University hosted an all-male pageant featuring food, music and a “People’s Choice” award. These are just a few examples of how you and your Chapter can create a successful, efficient and affordable fundraiser when fundraising to cover Conference costs. Consider pitching the trip to your school’s dean, department chair or student government — pitching is what we do best, after all. Explain the benefits and opportunities offered at Conference and ask for financial support. This presentation should include outlined budgets and details on the value of attending Conference. Most school organizations and departments appreciate the effort and want to encourage students’ academic and professional involvement in the real world. Whether or not your school can support you financially, the summer is a great time to work and save for Conference costs. 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