When I was given the ultimatum of moving or staying in the early summer of 2013 I felt as though my world had literally broken into a million pieces and shattered all around me. I was 24 years old and completely lost in finding the direction and purpose in my life. I had lived in Mount Pleasant my whole life. At the time, my boyfriend of five and a half years was literally my savior, continuously pulling me out of my dark cloud of depression caused by an unforeseen death in my family my senior year of high school that I just couldn’t cope with. I didn’t see how anything would ever be okay if I moved. However, my parents were moving. They could no longer shoulder my living and educational expenses with the cost of building a new home, so if I decided to stay then I was officially on my own.
I transferred to Ferris State University in the fall of 2013. I had previously changed my major three times with no luck and had decided to flip to the opposite end of the spectrum by trying out the world of business. I entered my first semester at Ferris in the human resource management program and quickly realized that this was not the correct fit for me. After a long discussion with my advisor about my likes and dislikes, dreams and aspirations I switched to the public relations program in the spring 2014 semester and I can honestly say it was one of my best decisions to date.
Spring semester was full of new opportunities for me. I had started a job in University Advancement and Marketing’s News Services Office and quickly started making friends with my co-workers, who were also in the same program. After about a semester of them poking and prying, I finally decided to join PRSSA. I was apprehensive at first due to my age. I thought that I wouldn’t have anything in common with people in the organization because I would be labeled as the failure and the girl who was still in school at the age of 25.
My first day of PRSSA, all my worries were put to rest. The people in the organization quickly became my friends and offered great support not only during the semester, but outside of the classroom as well. I took an event coordinator position for Senior Sendoff within Internal Relations the first semester of joining. I then applied and was offered the position of Vice President of Alumni Relations my second semester with PRSSA.
Alumni Relations was a new position that consisted of networking with alumni, planning alumni events and building the organizations LinkedIn page and alumni contact list. I spent the semester continuing to plan senior sendoff, planning and hosting our first ever alumni mixer, and connecting with alumni to update them on what was going on and to confirm their contact information.
In the spring of 2015 I was reelected for my position, however we as an eboard decided to add more job duties to the position. Because of the new job description, my title was renamed to Vice President of Professional Development in the summer of 2015. My current position consists of everything that it did before and now includes networking with Western Michigan Public Relations Society of America (WMPRSA) and hosting events highlighting them or attending events that they host.
I believe that professional development is a great opportunity for all members. Networking with professionals and gaining mentors is invaluable to one’s success not only while in college, but once they are graduated as well. Members have obtained internships and careers from establishing relationships with PR professionals and additionally gained invaluable information from networking events; events that the professional development team will be planning and hosting this year. It is crucial that members do not miss out on these events and workshops.
I am excited to continue building my position up from ground-level and inspiring new and old members during my last year at Ferris State. Ferris helped me find my path, but Ferris PRSSA helped change my life and allowed me to find myself again and for that I am truly thankful