From March 3 to March 6, I was fortunate enough to attend the 2016 Public Relations Student Society of America National Assembly and serve as the Waynesburg University Chapter PRSSA Delegate. This year’s conference was held in Austin, Texas, and with Assembly being one of my favorite PRSSA events and Austin being the live music capital of the world, the experience definitely did not disappoint.
Aside from enjoying the unique culture, exciting music and great food that make up Austin, this National Assembly was a PRSSA event unlike any other. As a Delegate, I was responsible for representing the Chapter, for voting on proposed bylaw amendments and for electing the 2016-2017 National Committee that help govern the Society.
Throughout the official National Assembly meeting, I had the privilege of hearing from current members who were running for National Committee as well as engage in conversations regarding plans and improvements for the following year. Once the elections were complete, I realized there were three things that stood out to me that made me excited to be a part of such a tremendous and innovative organization.
Every time I go to a national event for PRSSA, I am astounded by the fellow students in the Society who are pursuing a public relations career. There will not be many moments in life where I will have the opportunity to interact and bond with hundreds of public relations students under one roof, so I always take full advantage of communicating with my peers. Everyone is so genuine at these events that it is hard not to make friends. Honestly, the people and the relationships built from the National events are the best thing about being involved with PRSSA.
Without the overwhelming passion from its members, the Society wouldn’t be where it is today. Many students, including myself, put hours upon hours a week into improving and advancing our respective Chapters, which in turn strengthens the Society as a whole. While at Assembly, I heard the speeches from the candidates running for National Committee. As they presented their platforms and goals, it was obvious how dedicated and passionate they were about PRSSA. It was challenging choosing just one person for a position, but at the same time, it was refreshing to know that there are passionate students who want to make a positive impact on others.
At Assembly, the National Committee and advisers share with the Delegates a few plans for the future as well as upcoming events that will benefit the members. Listening to all of the opportunities that students will have made me realize how resourceful PRSSA is to public relations pre-professionals.
As a graduating senior, it is bittersweet to be ending my time as a member of PRSSA. Although I will be transitioning as an associate member of PRSA, it is going to be difficult turning the page and beginning a new chapter in my life. However, after this year’s National Assembly, I can move on confidently, knowing that the Society is in amazing hands with many plans for advancement for the future and for its members.
Jordan Mitrik is a senior public relations major with a marketing minor. He serves as the firm director of Red Brick Communications as well as the vice president of Waynesburg University PRSSA. Interested in various areas of public relations, he plans to become an established PR professional in the Pittsburgh market upon graduation.