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PRSSA conflab rich in opportunity

    By Contributing Writers. November 7, 2011 - 5:55 pm

The Public Relations Student Society of America had its annual conference in the heart of Orlando, Fla., a home base for creativity and networking.

 As the president of HPU’s chapter I was lucky enough to attend the Oct. 14-18 meeting. The theme this year was, “Perception is reality. Imagine, Create, Inspire.”

 I was blown away by the variety of professionals and industry leaders who got involved through workshops and presentations. From fashion to non-profits, this conference provided the opportunity for students to delve into an exciting and continually evolving field.

 CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien, gave an entertaining and inspiring speech about her life as an ethnically diverse woman making it to the top in a cut throat profession.

 She relived  growing up in New York in the ‘60s, with a mom from Cuba and a dad from Australia.

 She also showed us clips from her award-winning documentary series, “Black in America,” and reiterated how important it is for

journalists to focus on issues like diversity in order to capture the real American story.

 In another presentation, the VP of global PR for Disney, Craig Desern, shared stories, insight and advice on how to hold your own in a highly competitive industry.

 Based in Florida, Desern directs the consumer PR for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts across the globe. From Paris to Hong Kong, each park is tailored to its particular country and has events that coincide with the local culture.

 Desern gave advice about how to take advantage of jobs in the global market, and land a position which allows you to travel as you work for a company about which you are passionate.

 Along the way I was able meet students from across the country and network with peers and professionals in this rapidly growing field.

 The bottom line message I got was to intern at as many places as possible, figure out what you love to do and then go for it.

PRSSA’s National Conference is held every year in a different U.S. city, and is open to all members.

 Their next event will be the National Assembly and will take place spring 2012 in Charlotte, N.C.

I would highly recommend both events to anyone interested in public relations, advertising, business, journalism, or communications.

HPU’s PRSSA chapter is small but motivated.

 We are continually looking for strong leaders to take advantage of membership and use their experiences to create and inspire the future.

 For information, log onto PRSSA.org. If you’d like to get involved with HPU’s chapter contact me at prssa.hpu@my.hpu.edu.

NICOLE TAIT
Student writer