Networking: Generation Grand

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One benefit of getting involved in PRSSA was finding out about Generation Grand: PR in GR. This was a regional conference hosted this year by GV PRSSA, which I was fortunate enough to attend.

The conference started on a Friday, with agency tours to Truscott Rossman, Seyferth PR, and Mighty, and ended with a mixer at Lambert, Edwards & Associates. I learned so much that day about the kinds of opportunities available in Grand Rapids, and all within walking distance of each other! I had to take a selfie at Seyferth, partially because it was my favorite agency (they gave us free journals!), and partially because it was the second agency that day to have an office Keurig:

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Taken by Adrienne Cooley (April 7, 2017).

Saturday was filled with various panels related to PR: Design, Crisis Management, Nonprofits, Beer City USA, Green Thinking, and more. These were all very educational, and they held my interest a lot more than I’d anticipated. After the panels and time to explore the city, everyone met up at the Waldron Public House. That was one of my favorite parts of the weekend. The food and desserts were fantastic, and I was able to spend most of the time networking with my fellow PR students.

Before the conference, I had gotten to know a few students in PRSSA, but many did not know my name, and I didn’t know many of their names either. By the end of the weekend, not only did I learn a lot and meet professionals, but many more people in PRSSA at Grand Valley knew my name. It was a busy weekend, and pretty exhausting, but entirely worth the time and money for my ticket. You will definitely be able to find me at next year’s regional conference.

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Networking: PRSSA

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I have involved myself in several networking events this semester at Grand Valley, but I am writing about the first one because it was essentially the catalyst for everything else I attended.

You can read elsewhere on my website that I am studying Writing, with a minor in Advertising and Public Relations (APR). At the start of the semester, a previous classmate of mine sent me an email, inviting me to come to a GV PRSSA meeting. Since I was just starting my first two APR classes, and the networking event would give me class credit for one of them, I thought I’d go see what it was like.

I sat down next to Kyra, who told me it was only her second meeting, so we were kind of in the same boat. She agreed to take a selfie with me after I told her about the networking requirement for my class:

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Photo by Adrienne Cooley (January 25, 2017)

The speaker for this meeting was from Goodwill, and through her stories, I learned quite a bit about PR in nonprofits and crisis management. I also found out that the professor associated with PRSSA shares my name (spelled the same way, too). After the meeting, I introduced myself to her, and she in turn introduced me to Jaclyn, the CEO of GrandPR, and later GrandPR’s firm editor, Nicole, among others. After this meeting, I went to PRSSA every week. I got to know Nicole and started helping her edit blogs and run social media, started going to GrandPR meetings, and found a plethora of other opportunities offered by PRSSA.

Had I not started going to PRSSA, I would not have met all of these wonderful people, or found the opportunities that I did. Remember Kyra, the first person to whom I introduced myself? We’ve become friends since that first meeting, and a couple of weeks ago, I even edited her blog post for GrandPR.

Long story short, this networking event shaped the rest of my semester, and probably the rest of my student career.