How #PRSSANC Can Change Your Life

By: Kaitlyn Baase

At the end of May, I had the opportunity to travel to Scottsdale, AZ for the annual PRSSA Leadership Rally. Throughout the three days I was there, I got to network with other PRSSA Presidents from around the country, pick up tips about leadership and hear some great ideas about improving your chapter

It changed my life.PRSSA

That may sound so funny, but I am being completely serious. Going to this conference actually changed my life. I met so many people who share the same passions about public relations that I do. I never thought I would be able to meet such a group of outstanding individuals in my life. I made friends and connections that I will have for the rest of my life in THREE days.

I want you all to be able to experience the passion and drive that I experienced that weekend. You are probably wondering, “Kaitlyn, how in the world am I going to experience that?!” Well, I’m about to tell you: Go to the PRSSA National Conference

The PRSSA National Conference is taking place in October in Washington D.C. Here, you will have the opportunity to meet people who share the same passions that you have. The great thing about this is not only will you be meeting people who have the same passions as you; you will be meeting people who share the same passions that are from all over the country! Talk about expanding your network.

In conclusion, going the PRSSA National Conference will change your life. You will have the opportunity to meet new people, expand your network, and maybe even make a lifelong friend.

Want to know more about the PRSSA National Conference? Check out this link, and check back throughout the summer for more blog posts about #PRSSANC

Are you interested in donating to help fund our trip to #PRSSANC? Donate here:

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A Bittersweet Goodbye: Senior Sendoff 2014

By: Jessica McLean

After another bittersweet celebration, the Class of 2014 Senior Sendoff was a complete succeImagess hosted at the Big Rapids Blue Cow on Thursday, April 24 . The night was overflowing with laughter, cheers, tears, and amazing food.

The night began with a delicious dinner, followed by Betsy Garbe, the Vice President of Internal Relations, leading the group in guessing the seniors from their baby pictures. Once called, each senior was presented with a fabulous glass frosted with “Ferris PRSSA.”

“You can tell that the Senior Sendoff team put a lot of work into it and it was a blast but so sad to see the seniors leave. I am so proud and excited to see where they end up!” said PRSSA junior, Calsie Penzien.

Dr. Bishop honored Seniors A.J. Petix, Chris Hull, Kody Norwood, Kellyn Vos, Georgia Thelen, Amy Bardell, Amy Hughes, Olivia Adams, and Jessica McLean with beautiful certificates and heartwarming speeches. In honor of Dr. Bishop’s incredible help and support, the seniors presented a spoof-media-kit full of memories and thank you lettersImage. These unbelievable individuals will begin their life as graduates in just a few weeks.

“I had an amazing time at Senior Sendoff. It was great to have our PR family together to celebrate another successful school year and help send us seniors off. It’s a memory I will always cherish!” said senior, Amy Hughes.

The celebration also honored the Student of the Year which was awarded to Betsy Garbe, a member of the PRSSA e-board that has worked tirelessly since joining the PR program to be an incredible student, peer, and professional. Sandy Gholston was also honored as the new faculty adviser for Ferris PRSSA.Image

Senior Sendoff is one of the many events in the PR program where #PRpeeps get the chance to come together and celebrate being a strong, loving, family. Good luck to the Class of 2014! We will miss you. 

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Senior Farewells: Olivia Adams’ Story

By: Olivia Adams

Never in a million years did I think I’d end up at Ferris State University, let alone become a public relations major.Image

I began my college career as a stubborn Big Rapids High School graduate who wanted to get as far away from Big Rapids as possible – and there was no way I’d attend Ferris because it was just too close to home. But little did I know that my plans were soon to change.

During my freshman year at Aquinas College, I discovered public relations. Unfortunately, Aquinas didn’t offer PR so I decided to head back to my hometown to study public relations at one of the top programs in the nation. To be honest, this was the best decision I’ve ever made for my career.

To me, my experience at Ferris has taught me that your career is more than just find a job you like – it’s about finding something that truly fulfills all of your needs. Public relations isn’t just a day job or something I do for fun, it’s something that satisfies my goals, passions, and drive for life. I couldn’t have been more thankful to have found such a wonderful career path and learn and grow with other talented public relations students.

As I reflect about everything the Ferris State public relations program has taught me, here are my top five reasons why public relations is an incredible career path to follow:Image

  1. The opportunities are infinite. No matter what, companies and organizations will need public relations. Not only that, but everyone needs public relations, too. Whether you want to travel the world or work in your hometown, you can find a PR job almost anywhere you go. In fact, it’s one of those career paths where you can even make your own opportunities happen for yourself, too!
  2. You get to do what you love every day. Ever since I’ve become a PR major, I’ve started every day doing what I truly love. If you discover public relations and you fall in love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. For me, this is absolutely true. No matter how tough it gets, the excitement never disappears. I couldn’t be more thankful to have found a career so early in my life where I love what I do every single day.
  3. There’s never a dull moment. One of the best things about public relations is that it’s always different. One day you can be sitting behind your computer cranking out press releases while the next moment you could be interviewing celebrities for a news broadcast. Sure, the industry has its challenges, but at the end of the day, the experience is always rewarding.
  4. You meet amazing people. Wherever you go, public relations professionals and students are probably some of the most friendly, kind-hearted, intelligent (and fun!) people you’ll ever meet. The Ferris State PR program has given me some of the greatest friends I’ll have for life and the opportunities to meet more talented individuals down the road. The PR world just isn’t an industry, it’s a community of people who want to help each other and build lasting relationships. 
  5. It’s a career path that fulfills your passions. I can’t think of any other career path that allows young adults to have any job they can dream of. Whether it’s working for a sports team or working in a corporate office, there’s a spot for you in the PR world.

These are only a few reasons why I love public relations, and I’m sure you have your own list of why it’s the best career path. As you continue to work towards your goals and build your dreams, take note of all of the reasons why you love your career. It’ll serve as a great source of motivation and thirst for success.Image

As I wrap up my final week as a PR undergrad, my advice for current PR is to always be persistent, stay hungry for knowledge, and never give up. The PR world is huge and it’s filled with endless opportunities. The best way for you to make the most of your career is to be open to those opportunities and take advantage of open doors. This way, you’ll be able to create a career that’s the perfect fit for you.

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Meet Our New Eboard!

Vice President of Client Relations: Tarah BourkeImage

Year in School: This was my third year. Next fall will be the start of my fourth.

Year in PRSSA: Third

Why did you want this position: I held this position this past year, and I decided to run again because I have a lot of great ideas I want to implement now that I know more. I love client relations and the opportunity it provides students with. They can take on a real client and offer them all different kinds of portfolio boosting services such as press releases, design work, and social media. This past year, I did not do as much as I wanted to with client relations and getting the position again gives me the opportunity to implement all of my plans. I am grateful for the opportunity.

Goals for this position: Clients will be set up a little differently next year. I really want to implement more structure to the group. Students will have to provide me with a rough 4-step plan and timeline for each client. Time logs will also be turned in each week with what they did for the clients. At the end of each semester they will have to put together a portfolio of all of their work, mainly so they have it when they are pursuing other opportunities such as internships. I really want client relations to prepare students for the real world as best as it can. We are hoping to take on more clients next year as well as furthering promotions for PRSSA as a group. One major project we have in mind is picking a philanthropy and creating a non-profit event to raise awareness for the philanthropy as well as PRSSA. Overall, I hope to have a fun year!

Other things involved with on campus: I’m also involved with Ferris State University Running Club, and I work as a cashier at MC Sports.

Vice President of Internal Affairs: Shelby AustinImage

Year in school: Sophomore

Year in PRSSA: 1st

Why did you want this position: I wanted to give back to the organization that has already done so much for me in such a short amount of time. I have experience with fundraising, sponsorships, and event planning, so Vice President of Internal Relations was a perfect match for me. I am a natural leader and like to get as involved as I can. Because I am relatively new to PRSSA, I was hesitant to apply but after a little push I went for it and I am extremely thankful I did.

Goals for this position: As Vice President of Internal Relations, I plan to organize an agency tour in Chicago and Grand Rapids. I also want to focus a lot more attention on fundraising. Fundraising is crucial to moving the organization forward. I want to help make the agency tours and national conferences affordable for everyone so we can send more members. I also want to plan monthly events PRSSA bonding events; networking is crucial in this industry so it is important we get to know the people around us. I am also looking forward to planning an awesome senior send-off.

Other things involved in on campus: Former MIMA member, current College of Business Social Media Intern.

Vice President of Chapter Development: Kaitlyn PatrickImage

Year in School: Sophomore, Junior in Fall

Year in PRSSA: Second

Why did you want this position: I wanted this position to better understand the use of social media as a PR professional. I believed that having this experience would make me a better, well-rounded PR student. Also, being VP of chapter development would continue for my writing skills to grow and continue to build my confidence with my writing. 

Goals for this position: My goals for this position consist of really “developing the chapter”. I think it would be great to extend our new logo more and possibly recruit new members to our PRSSA chapter, not necessarily just the major. I also want to efficiently help plan the trip our chapter is going to make to conference. This conference will be an amazing opportunity for our members to gain knowledge and networking skills. Personally, I hope my team enjoys working with me as well. A happy team can get A LOT accomplished. 

Other things involved on campus: I am VP of Programming within my sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha. I have had an executive council position in ZTA for 2 years. I currently work in the Athletic Department for the Assistant Volleyball Coach. I used to work on the Torch student newspaper. I sang the National Anthem at the Big Event. Mainly, I try to just be involved in as many events as possible to be an active student leader at Ferris.


Treasurer/Secretary: Emma ThibaultImage

Year in school: Freshman

Year in PRSSA: First

Why did you want this position: I wanted this position because I wanted to gain leadership skills and organizational skills in addition to the skills I have already aquired. I also wanted to show underclassmen that you don’t have to be a junior/senior in order to hold a leadership position. Getting involved in RSO’s early on in your college career is important for your academic success as you prepare yourself for your professional career.

What are your goals for this position: My goal for this position is to maintain the organization of the RSO, as well as enforce a greater sense of commitment and dedication amongst group members.

Other things involved on campus: Aside from PRSSA, I’m currently employed at the University Rec Center.


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Senior Farewells: Amy Hughes’ Story

Three years ago I was faced with a decision that I knew would have a large impact on my future.

It was the summer of 2011 and I had just completed my second year of college. I came out of high school undecided about what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and hoped to discover my passion while at Ferris State University. During my first year I spent time enjoying the freedom and going on adventures with my roommates and new friends, and not a lot of time thinking about my future career.

After completing my general education requirements, I made the tough choice to leave Ferris. I went home for the Spring semester where I took one class at a community college and went back to my serving job.

I made it my goal to figure out what I wanted to do and get back to Ferris. While researching, I came across the Public Relations program and realized that it encompassed a little bit of everything that I enjoyed. It also allows for graduates to be qualified for many different careers. I sent a message to Dr. Bishop, and he quickly responded with a friendly
message inviting me to join the #PRPeeps at the PRBQ before classes started. The PRBQ was a blast and became something that I looked forward to each year.

10306952_10153998380335234_1611768888_nThe PR classes were very different than any other classes that I had taken. We did countless ice-breakers and class activities to help us get to know each other. They also helped us get to know ourselves better

As to be expected, the assignments became more difficult and expectations became higher as time went on. I was often forced out of my comfort zone, and sometimes it was terrifying. However, I trusted in Dr. Bishop and appreciated his efforts to get us to be the best version of ourselves. I have completed many assignments and presentations that I wasn’t even sure were possible.

What I wasn’t expecting to gain is the amazing friendships with my fellow #PRPeeps. These are people that I hope to have in my life forever. We have grown together, learned together, and went through difficult times together. Whether we need someone to vent to, get support from, get advice from, or just go have a good time with, we know we have each other. I have been blessed to be part of this #PRPeeps family!

I would like to thank everyone that has been part of my life throughout my college experience. For those of you who are not yet graduating, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone! Believe in yourself, you are capable of doing more than you think. Always remember that we are a family and never hesitate to reach out to each other for whatever it is that you may need. As for the rest of the seniors, we have almost done it! I couldn’t have picked a better group of people to go through this experience with. I know that you will all go on to do great things and find success, I can’t wait to hear all about it! #PRPeeps forever!

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End the Semester Strong

By: Kaitlyn Baase
There are three weeks left of classes a Ferris State. Or if you want to get really specific, less than two weeks of classes, and then a week of finals. I like to try and make it seem as short as possible. Its incredibly hard to do that though, especially since the weather is warming up and every other school in the world seems to be finishing up their semesters. But, don’t fret! It’s only three short weeks! Here are some tips and tricks to help end the semester strong.Image

Start studying now. Just because finals are three weeks away doesn’t mean you have to put off studying for another two weeks. Finals are going to roll around and as many college students will discover, they would rather put off studying and go enjoy the weather. Lock yourself in your room or a study room at the library for an hour or two a night and get done as much as you possibly can.

Don’t quit working out. With warm weather comes laziness. It may be super sunny out, but it doesn’t mean that you its acceptable to lay outside all of the time. Go for a jog, take a yoga class, do something! All the exercising will give you a way to take a healthy break from studying as well. Your body and mind will thank you in the end.

Get as far ahead on homework as you possibly can. Nobody really wants to do homework, I know. But do as much as you can before you really lose your motivation to summer. Just because it is warm outside doesn’t mean your grades should suffer!

Prioritize your life! Take a minute to think about what do you want to do before school gets out. Now take another minute to think about all of the things you HAVE to get done before school gets out. Make a list of everything you want to do and prioritize it. It’s a great way to visualize all of the stuff you have to get done before you can let go.

Save some time for fun. 
You always have to make some time to have fun with your friends. Spring would not be nearly as cool if it wasn’t spent having fun. Go check out some free concerts, spend some time with friends, and make some great memories to end out the semester.

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Senior Farewell: Jess McLean’s Story

Once upon a time a young woman drove 200 miles to step into Helen Ferris hall as a Ferris State University Music Industry Management student. But this fairy tale doesn’t have an evil step-mother or a ferocious dragon, just a naïve kid trying to figure out how to make it to commencement with minimal damage.Image

I switched into Public Relations during my second year by falling into the same trap that so many other students find themselves in—Dr. Bishop’s Principles of Public Relations class. Whatever “used-car-salesman magic” Dr. B possess had me switching into PR by the end of the semester and ecstatic to join the Public Relations program family.

I am finishing after three years at Ferris but the past 133 credits have felt disturbingly long at times. For all the current and future PR peeps out there, you do not need to come into this incredible family unprepared. I’ve composed a short list to help you succeed in the PR program. I proudly present my PR tool kit:

  • Watch. It’s pretty standard practice in the business building to see students in the classroom 10 or 15 minutes before class actually starts. As a PR student you will be held to the same standard—if not higher. Be prepared to arrive to Dr. Bishop’s classes early every day. Eventually, you’ll actually want to be there early. That’s when all the best jokes are told and awesome bonding happens. Plus, the Starbucks line is almost never long.
  • Support. We are all stressed. Every single one of us is feeling the pressure but we often forget that. You are not alone. Even if you feel like your PREL 341 lab grade was the worst and you’re never going to finish your campaign in time—seriously, we are all thinking the exact same thing. Find some sidekicks to vent to every once in a while and remind each other that everything is going to be alrighImaget.
  • Fuel. I am ashamed to admit that I spent 85% of my college career drinking energy drinks and coffee. Don’t be surprised to see 3 to 10 PR students in the Starbucks line before PRSSA meetings because it’s safe to say—we’re big fans. Whether it’s coffee, exercise, Reese’s peanut butter cups, or high fives, find something to help you get through the day. This program can be challenging and frustrating, but it is worth it.
  • Peeps. We have two really awesome resources in the PR program: Dr. Bishop and each other. It’s easy to stress about making connections in the real world but don’t forget that you have friends and peers that have connections too. One of the greatest parts about being in this program is that there are PR students already doing amazing things and they can help you do amazing things too.  
  •  Fearlessness. Ferris is a reasonably sized campus. There are students and faculty everywhere making things happen. These people need help. Take the time to adventure outside of your comfort zone. I can’t tell you how many things I’ve been able to add to my resume just from being adequately prepared and showing up.Image

With just a handful of classes left, I am sad to be leaving Ferris and the PR program. I feel incredibly lucky to be graduating with an amazing group of seniors that happily accepted me into their posse. I could not have imagined a better place to grow and flourish than in Dr. Bishop’s classes.

As to whether this fairy tale will end with a happily ever after, I am not sure. But at this point in the story I feel confident knowing that I love what I do

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