As a junior in college I often find myself thinking, or worrying, about the future. We all do it, and we are all probably equally just as terrified for it to come. I can admit that the thought of being tossed out into the real world, away from my safe little college bubble, is utterly to me horrifying at this point in time. We can all rest easy, however, knowing that we have an exciting world of advertising and public relations waiting for us! Where exactly we end up still is unknown. What job will we score, with what company, or what organization, or what client? Because once we are finally tossed out into the real world, we’re all going to be standing on our own with a diploma in one hand and an APR degree in the other. We all have the same major, we are all taking the same classes, and maybe we are all even on the dean’s listing every semester. And finally, once graduation day comes we are all competing for the same jobs.
So what sets us apart? How are we supposed to stand out amongst one another? Luckily, there is an easy way to do this that can help make the future seem the a little less scary and a lot more exciting. Get involved during your time in college! Here are just a few reasons to get involved in APR.
You will stand out after graduation: This is the big one. Getting involved within your major is so important in this competitive field, and this is a great way to stand out in the future. It seems to be that in today’s society a college degree isn’t enough anymore to score that dream job you’ve always wanted. It seems to be that all that studying and late night cram sessions are not enough to completely stand out in the real world. Because now it is about what sets you apart from the person next to you. It is about what you did OUTSIDE of the classroom. Having those leadership positions in those different organizations could be the deciding factor between you and another candidate competing for the same job. That internship you did the summer before you graduated could be what a potential employer deems as the reason to hire you. Getting involved within your major is a great way to differentiate yourself from every other student in the same program.
You can connect with a multitude of people: By getting involved within your major, you will without a doubt meet some of the best people possible. Some will be friends, others could be mentors, and all of them will be great connections to have in the future. Your peers within the APR program are people definitely worth getting to know. We all chose this major for a reason, we all have similar goals, and we all definitely can understand what it’s like to study APR. Those older than us have already done what we are currently going through, and can act as a mentor to us. Finally, by getting involved in APR you are exposed to a world of networking that can help benefit your future. You never know who you will meet at a club meeting that may just be looking for a new employee!
You will learn and grow within your field: We all learn more and more about APR everyday in class. However, getting involved outside of the classroom can help you expand not only your base knowledge of APR, but maybe even gain some real world experience that will really benefit you in a couple of years. Getting involved teaches you what the textbooks can’t. It provides you with real experiences that will make a much more lasting impression than any exam you have to take ever will. These experiences you have and the knowledge you gain will only help better prepare you for the future. The future can be scary, and starting a new job can be even scarier. But by having these experiences away from the classroom, it can help make you feel a lot more prepared!
Now that we’ve established WHY you should get involved, here are just a few ways of HOW you can get involved.
Join a club or an organization: Lucky for all of us, Grand valley offers both advertising and public relations organizations. The GVSU Advertising Club, Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), and the student run public relations firm- GrandPR. The two organizations offer great opportunities for meeting people within your major, opportunities to attend agency tours, networking with alumni and professionals in the field, and learning more about APR. GrandPR provides a way to get real world experience while working with real clients around the area.
Attend workshops/speakers: Grand Valley has many opportunities for students to attend professional presentations and workshops. These include, but are not limited to, social media workshops, resume building workshops, and self-branding workshops. The APR program even has an official speaker series going on right now! The presentations include more in-depth discussions and lectures that go beyond what we learn in the classroom. Attending these workshops and presentations provide a great deal of knowledge, and even a great opportunity to make connections!
Get an internship: The best way to get real world experience is by actually getting out there and experiencing first hand what the professionals do. This is a great opportunity to truly learn from the professionals and see how it’s done outside of the college bubble. Try reaching out to companies that interest you and maybe even try and job shadow. Internships not only provide a great way to learn more about your field, but they also make a great addition to any resume!
Post by: Chantal Shaw