On Monday, October 23rd, American University’s PRSSA Chapter hosted it’s Presidents’ Panel. The organization welcomed back past presidents, Melanie Salemno, Kathleen Rooney and Jenna Mosley. The presidents talked to members about PRSSA involvement, life after college, and skills that they earned from serving executive roles on PRSSA’s Eboard, notably the panel was moderated by Emma Ingram, AU PRSSA’s current president.

As it may be known, each of the past presidents are employed to prestigious firms. Melanie Salemno, who graduated in 2016, works at Weber Shandwick’s health practice in New York City. While Kathleen Rooney, who graduated in 2016, stuck around Washington, D.C., starting a career at Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, D.C. Last but certainly not least, Jenna Mosley, AU graduate of 2015, practices international communications at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

With their own defining experience of PRSSA, the former presidents spoke about how to get involved in PRSSA as a member. The panel could agree that the most rewarding experiences they had in PRSSA came from serving on PRSSA’s Executive Board and going to PRSSA’s national conference. The panel encouraged members to seek positions on the executive board, while actively attending executive board meetings. The former president, Melanie Salemno, inspired current members by saying, “PRSSA shows that you are hirable,” while also, “showing you what your strengths and weakness are.”
Panelists spoke about their involvement in PRSA, the after-college version of PRSSA. Highlighting that PRSSA is a feeder organization for future PRSA members. What this means is the network and connections you made in PRSSA can follow you to PRSA and later in life, especially if you keep them alive. A former president, Kathleen Rooney presented an interesting idea that PRSSA, along with PRSA friends may be some of your best friends after college.
Each president left us with parting words of advice, take feedback as a gift, seek ways to connect with others, and be confident in yourself and the abilities you possess. American University’s PRSSA thanks, each panelist for coming into our chapter to talk about professional development, PRSA, and self-empowerment.