PRSSA National Conference; a perspective coming from a first timer!

By Kristen Pustizzi, VP of Member Services

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My adventure began last spring, when I was approached by my fellow PRSSA members asking if I wanted to attend PRSSA in Indianapolis next fall. Not knowing much about public relations, I wanted to grasp at any opportunity to learn more about the industry that I could get my eager hands on.  This is where it all began, after saying yes and paying my dues I spent the summer talking to the board about fundraising events to make this opportunity more cost -friendly for all that were planning to attend the conference. We held a paint night at Breakaway which turned out to be a huge success not to mention a lot of fun! This also meant that the conference was around the corner!

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Attending the PRSSA meeting on the do’s and don’ts for conference got me excited! With conference around the corner, I couldn’t wait to go home, shop for everything necessary and pack up! I don’t think I ever had to pack so much professional attire before to travel. This gave me a little taste on what I would have to deal with when I land my ideal job in the public relations industry. I must say I loved every minute of it, from the airport to getting to the hotel to even having to leave, everything about this trip was so incredibly positive. It went by so fast it made it seem like it was all just a good dream.

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It felt real when I put on one of my first professional outfits and walked down with the rest of the group to officially check in and get our name tags. We got PRSSA bags filled with all the necessary information to have a successful week, not to mention goodies from sponsors of the conference. It took me some time to grasp a routine for how to approach the sessions and how much to write for notes in each session.

It also took me some time to gather the courage to network and talk to other chapters, but by the time the week was over my president along with others in my group called me the networking queen. Once I got over my nerves and just engulfed myself in what was going on in that present moment everything became so relaxed and a lot more fun all around. This conference didn’t just make it easier to network with other chapters but also networking with my own chapter too.  We were all so busy prior to the conference that when we all got there we learned more about each other and as far as the chapter goes, learned about what each felt was important to bring back to the meetings.

The sessions for me were interesting, some I found interesting like Warner Brothers and how to write a killer resume. It was motivational and inspiring for me to be able to attend the PRSA sessions, these sessions are designed for public relations professionals out of school in the field. As funny as it sounds the best way I can describe what I was feeling would be like fan-girling over a celebrity, never wanting it to end. Leaving this conference I am a new PR person and excited to get in the field!

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