Learning to Embrace Your Time as a Student
BY KRISTA WATSON PUBLICATIONS EDITOR IN CHIEF
As a member of a pre-professional organization with more
than 11,000 members in over
340 Chapters, I am confident that
I will be prepared when graduation hits and I begin my life in the
“real world.” In fact, I sometimes
wish I could fast-forward to graduation day just so I can finally
start my career as a public relations practitioner.
PRSSA provides a plethora of
networking opportunities with
students in all stages of collegiate
and graduate education and with
industry professionals, making it
easy to focus on the industry and
having a career. This is something
I have been focused on myself, but
as I begin my junior year of college, I am realizing that I need to
take advantage of being a student
while I still can.
It’s true that we should never
stop learning, but there is only
a short window of time that you
will be able to study as an undergraduate or graduate student.
Here are a few things to embrace
before your time in the classroom
As silly as this sounds, this is
one thing that students take advantage of. Once you’re in the
professional world, you lose your
student discount privileges. As
college students on a budget, this
is one advantage you can’t afford
to pass up.
Learn about the industry
This is something you’ll continue to do as a professional, but
college is the time to learn the ins
and outs of the public relations
industry so you’re prepared when
it’s time to hunt for a job. Take
business classes, communications
classes or marketing classes. Use
this opportunity to find your
passion and pursue a career that
A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
internships, jobs and life, but
taking the time to pursue opportunities in your community that
you’re passionate about will not
only be a great addition to your
resume, but also will provide fulfilling work in your free time.
Being surrounded by graduates
and professionals at networking
events can make you eager to step
into the real world. My advice to
you all would be to embrace the
time you have left as a student,
whether you’re a freshman or senior, because you only have a limited amount.
As a full-time employee, it
won’t be easy to find spare time to
be as involved as you once were.
Yes, students are busy with class,
Publications Editor in Chief
Leadership is a quality that
many employers look for when
hiring applicants. PRSSA allows
members to take on leadership
roles at a local and national level.
Taking advantage of these opportunities will help prepare you for
leadership positions as a professional.
Build your network
As I previously mentioned,
PRSSA allows you to network
with other students and professionals across the country. Building a strong network as a student
allows for a strong support system
that can help you succeed after
Write for PRSSA publications to enhance
FORUM® is published three
times a year for PRSSA members.
The opinions expressed are
not necessarily those of the
Society or staff. The editor in
chief reserves the right to refuse all copy.
Article submissions, comments and suggestions may
be made via email to the editor in chief at forum@prsa.
FORUM is produced by students at Loyola University
Chicago in Chicago, Illinois.
email Publications Editor in Chief
Krista Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building a Relationship With Faculty Advisers BY ANGELA MERIEDITH WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY
Just like a sports team has
a coach, a PRSSA Chapter has a Faculty Adviser.
Although Chapters are student-run, the presence of a
supportive Faculty Adviser
has a huge influence on the
success of the group. But
what makes a good Faculty
Adviser? From my experience, an Adviser is not just
the professor you run decisions by or wave to casually
in the hall when running to
class. Advisers should serve
as a mentor, group mediator
and counselor. An Adviser
can even become a friend.
The perfect example of
this is Shelly Najor, Faculty
Adviser to the Wayne State
University (WSU) Chapter
Najor is a valuable resource
for our Chapter for reasons beyond the meaningful relationships she builds with us. She
knows WSU and she knows
public relations. Not only has
she been an instructor here for
over 20 years, she is a product
of the very program we are in.
“I love knowing that once my
students leave me they are in
the capable hands of alumni,”
WSU, Najor became a graduate teaching assistant to the
Wayne State University PRSSA Chapter with Faculty Adviser Shelly Najor. Photo courtesy of Wayne State PRSSA.
founder of our Chapter, James
S. Measell, and then took
over his role when he retired.
She credits him with training and grooming her for this
very important role within the
“I try and create the same
relationships with my students
that I had with my professors,”
Najor said. Najor teaches
three of the core public relations courses, one of which is
Fundamentals of Public Relations, the very first class public relations majors take in the
WSU program. Many current
PRSSA members claim that
her class was the reason they
decided to pursue public relations and join PRSSA.
“Fundamentals of Public Relations made me realize it was
more than just a lecture on a
PowerPoint. The class showed
me all that the field had to
offer, and the gateway to that
was through the resources of
PRSSA,” said PRSSA member
Marcella Dudek. What makes
Najor so helpful is that she
does more than simply advise.
“It’s important that as Faculty Adviser I don’t micromanage,” Najor said. “As long
as executive board members
keep me in the loop, I let them
do their thing. I jump in only
when I know I can help or offer a bit of needed guidance.”
Each year brings in a new
group of PRSSA members and
a new executive board that
works closely with the Faculty
Adviser. This has its chall enges
“Each new group has its own
set of talents, skills, strengths
and vulnerabilities,” Najor
said. “As Faculty Adviser, it’s
my job to help the team maximize the strengths while also
learning to work with and
adapt to the various personalities and work styles.”
One component of PRSSA
is how it sets students up for
a successful future, whether it
is through networking, internships or programming. This is
where a Faculty Adviser can
be an important resource. The
best Advisers have been in the
industry for years and know
the professionals in the area.
A Faculty Adviser should
be an effective coach, but also
their Chapter’s biggest cheerleader. The resources and
guidance many Faculty Advisers offer, just like Najor, can
help a PRSSA Chapter grow
and prosper as a whole, but
also help individual members
as they transition into their