Tag Archives: Pace Awards

Networking WORKS

22 Apr

Last year as a sophomore, I had the privilege of attending the 2008 Central Michigan Public Relations Society of America Pace Awards. I was sponsored by my chapter to attend and showed up early to help with set up. I did not receive any awards, or make any outstanding impressions, but I did quietly sit back and enjoy the atmosphere. As a sophomore, it was very overwhelming and I was not yet comfortable with approaching PR professionals.

This year, my junior year and also my last year being able to attend the Pace Awards as a student, my story is quite different. I am going to be graduating early in December of 2009 rather than expected May 2010. I didn’t try to graduate early, but credit wise it worked out that way and I don’t mind not paying another semester of tuition.

This year, I had the opportunity to meet some of the planning committee such as James Roney, Boys Scouts of America; Josh Hovey, Rossman Public Relations; Christina Jackson, Pace & Partners; and Melody Kindraka, Michigan State Police among others whom I have met in passing before. This time, I know names, faces, places of business and what they do. I also sat by Denise Donohue with the Michigan Apple Committee and realized what a small world it is and that I know some of her family members.

I didn’t receive an award, a fancy plaque, or any big recognition to make me stand out of the crowd but what I did receive is much more valuable. I began to build relationships, or better known in the PR field, I networked. I’ve been to CMPRSA breakfasts, awards ceremonies, and many meetings where I sat in the back and watched. Today I successfully made impressions.

I think that students hear a lot of talk about the need to network but very few actually have the initial courage to do so. It took me awhile to come around to networking and I wish I hadn’t waited so long. Students: put yourself in situations where you can network, and DO IT! I had a great time at the 2009 Pace Awards, met quite a few wonderful people and hope to attend next year as a graduated PR Professional!

Congratulations to all award winners this year and special congrats to PRSSA’s Professional Advisor, Kelly Rossman for Rossman Public Relations winning Best of Show!

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