Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Student Perspectives from the Annual Conference

Molly Nurczyk, President, FGCU FPRA Student Chapter
Junior, Florida Gulf Coast University

As president of the FGCU FPRA Student Chapter, I found the 76th Annual Conference extremely beneficial not only for me, but for my board members and my club in general. From the numerous guest speakers to the delicious “Think FPRA” themed desert, I simply had a blast at the Annual Conference this past August. The conference made me appreciate the PR industry even more than I already do. Additionally, this experience made me grateful that I was able to so easily pick the perfect profession for my future career. I can’t thank the professional chapter enough for the scholarship and opportunity to attend the conference. Below are my top three favorite parts of this year’s Annual Conference.

No. 3:  Swag.  “Think FPRA” themed portfolio, bag and stylus pen that lights up

As a college student, it felt great to receive such a useful gift that I can use in the future for all my meetings, my future internships, and for my first job. Most college students don’t think to invest in a portfolio, much less receive one for free at a conference.

No. 2:  Amazing guest speakers and topics

Unfortunately, because PR is only a concentration and not a major at my university, I only get to learn PR through six different classes. Because of this, I try my very best as president of our student chapter to get as many useful topics as possible at our meetings that we normally don’t get to cover in class (such as graphic design, social media, and crisis communication). I was extremely grateful that there were so many topics and great guest speakers at the conference. My only complaint was that I wish I could’ve sat in on multiple topics that were being presented at the same time.  

No. 1:  Networking

I spent the majority of my summer in my hometown in Sarasota, Florida. Sadly, this meant that I couldn’t really network with the professional chapter over the summer. Thanks to the FPRA          Annual Conference, I was able to meet and network with almost all of the professional chapter            members that were at the conference. (I even got lucky and sat next to one friendly member during the first general session on Monday when I didn’t know anyone.) I had members of the           professional chapter seek me out, which felt incredible. I often tell my executive board members and members of our club about this experience because it goes to show that great opportunities await you through involvement with FPRA.

Because of this wonderful experience, I am trying my best as president to get funding to help pay for hotel expenses, food, and gas so that more students from FGCU can attend the Annual Conference next summer.

Amanda Brown, Professional Liaison FGCU FPRA Student Chapter
Senior, Florida Gulf Coast University

Going to 2014 FPRA conference was a life changing experience. I am so grateful; this experience is something I will not forget for the rest of my life.

Listed below are the top five things I learned from the guest speakers. The knowledge I learned is something I will keep for the rest of my life.

1.     Every interaction is an opportunity.
      - Renee Wilson
2.   You don't have to have a title to be a leader
      - Sarah Robinson
3.   The key to good writing is brevity
      - Dan Farkas
4.   Life is about reaction, capture the moments
      - Dan Farkas
5.   Branding is the single most valuable asset
      - Steve McKee

My top experience was having breakfast with the current state president and two previous state presidents. It was an amazing experience to learn about their expertise, careers and why they love FPRA. Every person I met was so welcoming and willing to help my career.

By the end if this experience I met individuals willing to help me with finding a job after graduation, editing my resume and mentoring me throughout my public relations career. I would not have had these opportunities without the scholarship I received. The Southwest Florida chapter is amazing and I really appreciate this association for offering me the opportunity to better my future.

No comments: