What is the best thing about Grand Valley’s Advertising and Public Relations program? In my opinion GrandPR, but I might be a little bit biased. Student-run PR firms were introduced nearly 40 years ago, but didn’t really become the focal point of extra-curricular activities until about 10 years ago. What was the deciding factor to give real life clients to a group of college students? One word: experience.
With the semester coming to an end and graduation nearing, this is the prime time to start thinking about applying to GrandPR. Applications opened on Monday, March 21 so as you read this blog and think if you should do it, I will give you five reasons why your answer should be yes.
First, GrandPR is a great resume and portfolio builder. Our student-run PR firm is a perfect way to get your feet wet in the world of PR and in an agency setting. If you’re not sure what route you want to take or what part of PR you like the most, the only way you will figure it out is if you get some experience. Then when it comes time to interview for jobs, you are able to reflect on the real work you did for the firm. You’ll even leave each semester with a portfolio piece so you can show prospective employers that too.
Second, you are able to work with real clients. How many college students can say that they have worked with a real client outside of class? Probably not many, but with GrandPR it gives you the ability to interact, collaborate and produce work for a client. This is important because it will give you a taste of the professionalism that is needed when interacting with clients.
Third, it provides an experiential curriculum. We are fortunate enough to have Grand Valley provide the professors that have real world knowledge. The things you are taught in class, you are able to bring to GrandPR, an internship and a full time job. GrandPR is a great way to put what you learned to the test and see where your skills match.
Fourth, it gives you a chance to be a leader. I went from an Account Associate on the GrandPR staff to CEO in a semester. This taught me the importance leadership. I not only had to figure out how to run a PR firm, but I also had to figure out the type of leader I wanted to be in a management position. Without GrandPR, I wouldn’t have been lucky enough to have this leadership experience so early on in my career. GrandPR is full of leadership opportunities, from Account Executive positions to Executive Board positions, there are many chances for you to be a leader within the firm.
Last, interpersonal skills and by that I mean professional ones. I like to tell people that what you get out of GrandPR is what you put into it. By doing this, you will learn so much more than you ever thought you could. Being apart of GrandPR has taught me communication skills with a client, time management skills, organization as well as management and collaboration skills. By learning these early on, it will set you apart from the rest of the pack because you know how to act in a professional environment. Your future employer will find that very valuable.
Okay, okay now that I am off my soapbox I will leave you with one last word of advice. Don’t be afraid, take a chance to see what you are capable of because I am telling you it is more than you can ever imagine. Being apart of organizations like GrandPR, PRSSA and Ad Club will let you peak into the real world and help you find who you want to be as a professional. If you don’t believe me, here is a whole study done by the Journal of Public Relations Education that will prove all of my points.
If you have any questions about GrandPR, PRSSA or just PR in general, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. My contact info is on our website grand-pr.org.
Post by: Eleanor O’Hara