Serving on our Chapter’s executive board has easily been the best experience of my undergraduate career. I’ve learned so much not only about myself, but also about what it means to be a leader and how to work with a close group of people. There is nothing more I could have done that would have been as productive or valuable to my pre-professional career. Here are some reasons why I believe you should apply for executive board:
So have I convinced you to apply? Great! Here are some skills that come in handy for each of the different positions.
President: The president is responsible for overseeing the entire Chapter. This position really allows you to be a part of everything the Chapter is doing. You should apply for president if…
Vice president: The vice president is responsible for recruitment and planning the professional development opportunities, such as speakers, workshops, and panels. You should apply for vice president if…
National liaison: The national liaison is responsible for coordinating tours, PRSA dinners, Regional Conference, and National Conference. You should apply for national liaison if…
Digital media director: The digital media director handles all of the Chapter’s social media, photographs all Chapter events, and keeps Chapter records. You should apply for digital media director if…
PRogressive Image director: The PRogressive Image director oversees the Chapter’s student-run firm, PRi. You should apply for PRi director if…
Treasurer: The treasurer is responsible for the Chapter’s budget, serves as one of the executive board advisors to the development committee, and oversees the mentor-mentee program. You should apply for treasurer if…
Secretary: The secretary is responsible for producing agendas and meeting minutes and oversees the Chapter’s philanthropic efforts. You should apply for secretary if…
Dues-paying members who are interested in applying for the 2015-2016 executive board should submit their resume and cover letter in one PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight next Tuesday, March 31. Include your top three positions of interest and why, which may be included in the cover letter. A letter of recommendation may also be submitted. Qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview that will take place the following week.
By Cassidy Obis, 2014-2015 president
From a town smaller than the size of her incoming freshman class, Allison Trosper ventured to Illinois State University to meet new people and study public relations. She works at the Student Fitness Center and recently accepted a position as a summer preview guide. She is charismatic and not afraid to take risks—meet this week’s Member Monday, Allison Trosper.
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Allison, but everyone knows me as Allie. I’m 19 years old and a freshman at ISU. I am from a little town called Catlin, Ill. There are about 2,100 people in the town, and I graduated with 36 kids in my class. I am outgoing, and love meeting new people and making new friends.
As a freshman, what interested you in the ISU Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America?
I became interested in ISU PRSSA through one of my best friends, Bridget Anders. She knew I was an incoming public relations major and encouraged me to attend the first meeting. I love being involved with the Chapter. I have made so many friends, and I am learning many beneficial things that will help me in my future career.
What are you involved in on campus?
Besides my involvement with ISU PRSSA, I am employed at the Student Fitness Center as a fitness floor monitor. When I am not exercising, I am working there. Also, I just accepted a job offer as a preview guide for Preview 2015 this summer. I cannot wait to start this job to help new students become excited about ISU and becoming Redbirds.
Describe your dream job.
My dream job is to work for the Chicago Cubs. I have loved sports ever since I can remember. I think representing a brand that I love would make my career more enjoyable.
What legacy do you want to leave behind at ISU?
I am a very happy and bubbly person. I want to be remembered as someone who was always smiling and friendly. The best feeling in the world is knowing that you made someone smile and made a little part of his or her day brighter.
Where do you find your greatest motivation?
I find my greatest motivation in my mother. She is always encouraging me to try new things outside of my comfort zone. Without her, I would not be who I am or where I am today. I am thankful for everything she has done for me. She could not have done a better job raising me and my little brother and sister.
Questions composed by Kellian Reed
One of the most popular post-graduation career options for public relations majors is to join an agency. Agencies are exciting, fast-paced places to work, and I can say from experience you will learn a lot and quickly during your agency experience. I was attracted to agency life due to the variety of opportunities it offers, including the ability to work on multiple clients and grow quickly as a professional.
However, the popularity of these positions means they can be incredibly competitive. Don't let that intimidate you though! As a member of the Illinois State University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, you're already a step ahead. Here are some tips to landing that coveted agency internship:
First, know that you will have to intern before you are hired. That's just the reality of agency life. There are exceptions to this rule, but they are just that‒exceptions. Internships are the best way to break into the agency world, and they allow you to discover if agency life really is a fit for you.
Of course, in order to land the internship, you have to apply for it, and one part of the application process that many students dread is the interview. These are a few tips and tricks I've picked up as both an applicant and an employee:
• Do your research: both on the agency and, if you can, on your interviewers. Know why you want to work at that particular agency, and be able to speak about its clients and recent work.
• Practice answering common interview questions beforehand. Always prepare for questions relating to your education and experience.
• Ask questions! I believe that it's a huge negative to not ask questions at the end of an interview. Prepare some questions ahead of time so you are ready to go. Also, if you have multiple interviewers, it's okay to ask the same question more than once. They won't know you did, and you can hear how different people answer.
If the interview goes well, most agencies will send you a writing test. Some agencies allow you to complete these on your own time, while others require you to return to the office; it all depends on the agency. Many students (myself included) share their writing test experiences with Dr. Smudde, so he is a wonderful resource for writing test Advice. For all writing tests, familiarity with basic grammar and AP style is key. Writing tests are also an opportunity to demonstrate creative thinking, your research abilities, and your knowledge of the public relations industry.
Hopefully, after all of that, you were able to successfully land an internship. Agencies are exciting places to start your public relations career. Some of the best advice I heard was to treat my internship like a three-month long interview. Additionally, speak up if you want to be hired full-time! While a lot of hiring is based on timing and staffing needs, you will never get hired if human resources does not know you are interested. I met with human resources halfway through my internship to express my interest, and interns who did not get hired right away have successfully kept in touch via email and been hired later. If it truly is a fit, it will probably work out.
That's a lot of information for one blog post, and there are definitely more ins and outs to the application process I can share; please feel free to ask questions in the comments below!
By Abby Brennan
Miranda Puskar is a junior at Illinois State University who is ready to experience every aspect of public relations. As a member of the ISU Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, she is involved in the PRSSA National Donor Awareness Competition this semester and hopes to take her event planning skills to the next level.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m a junior public relations major and 21 years old. I’m from Rockford, Ill., but I moved to Kewanee, Ill., after high school. I attended Black Hawk College for my associate degree and transferred to ISU last fall.
What made you interested in ISU and want to join ISU PRSSA?
I was interested in ISU solely because of the public relations program. Since high school, I knew I wanted to major in public relations. When I found out ISU was the only public, in-state university with an accredited program, I knew ISU was the place I needed to attend. I joined ISU PRSSA because I wanted more insight to the field of public relations.
What do you wish to gain from your NODAC experience?
From NODAC and the Gift of Hope Event, I hope to gain insight on how it feels to plan an entire event from scratch. We are starting from the ground up, and with the team we have, I think it is going to be an awesome journey.
Besides ISU PRSSA, what other organizations are you involved with on campus?
In addition to ISU PRSSA, I am the vice president and president elect for the Association for Women in Communications. The ISU Chapter just started last fall. I am so passionate about the organization, and I am so proud of how far we have already come. I am also a recruitment intern for ISU’s School of Communication.
What is your dream job?
My dream job is to do public relations for the Grammy Awards because I have been obsessed since I was young, drooling over ‘N Sync performances.
What has been your favorite experience at ISU thus far?
Honestly, my favorite experience thus far was my first semester classes. I met great people, and I explored many new opportunities. Coming to ISU has opened my eyes in a lot of ways.
Questions composed by Nicole Weishaar
Andrea Casali, Illinois State University sophomore, takes charge as the PRogressive Image account executive for the Humane Society of Central Illinois. Casali is currently the youngest member holding a leadership position in the ISU Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. She has a soft spot for animals and has put in a lot of work helping HSCI grow stronger this year.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a sophomore, native to Bloomington-Normal, Ill., so I am a “townie.” This fact has made my college experience different from most. I live right down the street from ISU, so it just made sense to stay home and save money. Plus, I get to skip the dorms and cuddle with my cat. When I am not on campus, I enjoy painting, “Netflixing,” and reading. I am a huge “Game of Thrones” fan. I also love fashion and hope that I will one day have a career that is fashion-focused.
What attracted you to the HSCI account?
I was attracted to the account because I have a big place in my heart for animals. I have volunteered for the HCSI since high school, so I genuinely care about the organization. It was the perfect opportunity for me to become more involved in ISU PRSSA while doing something that I love.
What are your responsibilities as an account executive?
I act as a liaison between PRi and the client. My responsibilities are mainly to establish a positive relationship with the client and determine ways PRi can assist HCSI.
Are you involved in anything else on campus?
Yes, I joined a social sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, in fall 2014. It was a step outside of my comfort zone, but through putting myself out there, I feel like I have really grown as an individual. I found an amazing sisterhood, which is exactly what I was hoping to find.
What advice do you have for future account executives?
Ask the organization what it would like to see done and how it would like to utilize PRi. I spent a lot of time last semester pitching ideas that did not end up working for HSCI. The ideas were not bad; they weren’t used. I would say it is important to ask the client how you can help them so that you can spend time creating project ideas in-line with their goals.
Tell us about your current internship.
This semester I have my first internship as a student ambassador for ISU’s School of Communication recruitment team. It has been great to work with a team who is just as passionate as I am about public relations and ISU’s communication program.
Do you have any plans to study abroad?
I plan to study abroad in Paris through the Novancia Business School study abroad program in summer 2016. I studied French all four years of high school, and it has been my dream to visit the country and immerse myself in the culture. I also hope to take weekend trips all around Europe.
Questions composed by Kelly Larson
It is no longer a secret: Karlie Kloss is leaving Victoria’s Secret. The 22-year-old supermodel removed her wings to land at New York University.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Kloss in reference to attending the university. She does plan to continue modeling, however, just not as much.
Kloss, known for her association with Victoria’s Secret, first appeared on the runway for the brand in 2011 during the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Since then, her involvement with the lingerie brand has soared into many other deals, including a contract she signed in 2013 making her a Victoria’s Secret Angel. By ending her contract with Victoria’s Secret, Kloss has impacted her personal brand.
Our personal brand is what sets us apart from our colleagues and can give us a competitive edge. Future employers can see our personal brands by looking at our portfolios and even our LinkedIn profiles. For models, personal branding includes what shows the model has walked in, what editorials the model has done, and her personal street style.
Kloss’s personal brand includes her contracts with companies like L’Oreal Paris, Kate Spade, and her appearance on the cover of Vogue. One of her well-known personal brands includes her bob cut affectionately nicknamed the “Karlie Cut.” Every aspect of our life makes our brand, and our brand constantly evolves.
By ending her contract with Victoria’s Secret, Kloss’ brand will change. Her brand will now include a college education. Public relations students can learn from Kloss. By gaining new experiences, like an internship, public relations students can further develop their brand. Professionals have a brand. Every aspect of our life involves our brand and our brand constantly evolves. In my opinion, Kloss is making a great decision that will positively influence her brand.
By Tyler Krivich
Katie Noland is a sophomore public relations major with a minor in sociology who is ready to take part in the public relations industry. She is driven, focused, and ready to see what the world has to offer.
Tell us about yourself.
I am from Virginia, Ill., a small town near Springfield, Ill. I am involved in Phi Beta Lambda, which is a business fraternity on campus. In my free time, I give campus tours as a volunteer tour guide. I currently hold an internship with OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington, Ill., where I carry out duties with the volunteer services department.
What lead you to choose public relations?
I was actually a business major when I came to Illinois State University and quickly found out it wasn't for me. I craved more exciting classes and a career path closer to my interests. I love writing and interacting with others so public relations seemed like the right fit for me.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would love to be married with kids and hopefully working at a hospital close to my family and friends. I love to help people, which is why I want to stay in the medical field. I would also like to work in agriculture public relations because I was born in a rural town and could apply my communication skills to what I am already familiar.
Describe your dream job.
My dream job is to work at a public relations agency in St. Louis. I love the area, and there are so many great agencies to work for, such as Osborn Barr. A relaxed environment where everyone’s ideas are heard would be ideal.
Who inspires you?
My family inspires me every day. I always want them to be proud of me so I work extra hard. I also have one of the most supportive families I know. They always have my back no matter what decisions I make.
What is your greatest motivator?
My student loans. Knowing that I have all these loans racked up makes me want to work harder to get a high paying job that I love so I can pay them off quickly.
Tell us something fun about you.
I am crazy good at decorating. If there was more of a market for interior designers, I could have gone with that as a career.
Questions composed by Caitlin O’Donovan
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.