I have been a part of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) since my freshman year of college at Michigan State. I went to the first meeting alone and nervous. I remember watching the executive board introduce themselves and lead the meeting, and thinking “I want to do that someday.” I looked up to them and their leadership. They were older, had internships under their belts, and offered advice that I value to this day. They seemed to have it all together.
I ended up leaving Michigan State and transferring back home to attend Grand Valley. Again, I went through the agony of attending my first PRSSA meeting alone. There were new faces and a new system to get used to. Still, I knew I wanted a leadership position. But now, I felt as though I wouldn’t be able to. I was now in my junior year and had no history with the Grand Valley chapter of PRSSA.Why would they ever pick me to be a leader? I felt as though I had nothing to offer. When I was a freshman and sophomore, I thought that by senior year I would have it all figured out. I would have a killer internship and know exactly what I was going to do after graduation. That has yet to happen. How could I be a leader when I didn’t have my own life together? Talk about discouraging.
Still, I got involved with GrandPR, which helped me get to know other PRSSA members, and ended up applying to be the VP of Member Services of PRSSA for the 2014-2015 school year. Because of some restructuring that took place, I ended up accepting the role of VP of Financial Services. I collect dues, do all of the purchasing, keep track of the budget, and help out wherever else it is needed. I wouldn’t change my time on the executive board for anything. I have gained leadership experience and confidence in myself, met new people, made new friends, and attended PRSSA National Conference. I got to work with a great group of women who all have different (and great) things to offer.
Want to know a secret? The executive board is full of students just like you. We are (or at least I am) still trying to figure things out too. I don’t know everything, or have everything together, but who does? You don’t know what your limit is unless you push yourself. Take a risk. What do you have to lose? You have a lot more to offer than you realize. You’re only in college once. Take full advantage.
VP of Financial Services is being absorbed back into the VP of Member Services role. A list of all of the positions, and the application can be found here. If you have any questions reach out to me on Twitter @oliviamashak. Applications are due this Friday. Don’t sell yourself short!