Until this semester, I thought I wanted to study psychology, but after taking an intro to Psychology class I realized it was not something I wanted to major in. I wanted to do something within SOC, but I didn’t know what that was. After taking some classes in McKinley I was fascinated by all of the information each of my classes taught me. From the concept of understanding media to learning how to write for digital news, I was intrigued by what SOC had to offer. However, these classes were not the things that pushed me to figure out my major; it was PRSSA. Diana Ochoa, PRSSA’s membership director and one of my good friends, told me about PRSSA and how it helped her strengthen her PR skills. At first, I had no interest in going through with it, but after going to their first chapter meeting, I realized that this organization would actually help me find my path.

The first meeting I attended for PRSSA was led by Brigette Fine, a former APCO Worldwide and Edelman intern who now works for the education-tech company 2U, who talked about what it was like working in these two settings and how to get an internship in both of these places. From Brigette, I not only learned about these two companies but a little more about Public Relations and the skills it has to offer to individuals like herself.

From there, PRSSA had meetings with speakers like Felicia Parks, a SOC Career Center Specialist, who talked about internship opportunities within PR as well as guiding us towards our potentials. The following weeks they had Lucca Vaselli and Heather Janik, PR specialists who work for companies and nonprofits for social change. PRSSA’s most recent speaker was Antonice Jackson who spoke about diversity in the communications workforce.

All of these speakers and experiences I had with students in PRSSA made me realize that I wanted to study Public Relations and possibly minor in marketing, and I could not have been happier going down this path. Since I became a member of PRSSA I realized that PR is something I am passionate about and is something I want to do with my life. As a participant in the Bateman Competition for PRSSA, I have learned about how to implement and strategize for PR and how to work with clients who are campaigning for an organization they represent. In addition, the meetings and events I have attended have strengthened my understanding of PR beyond my academics. I am proud to be a member of PRSSA at American University and I cannot wait to learn more about PR next semester.