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How Joining a Conference Committee Harnessed My Growth in PRAD and PRSSA

Joining a PRess Play Committee is a must for those seeking growth in the program and career field.

By Sadie Guffy

Members of the 2023 PR eLevated Programming/Sponsorship teams pose for a photo.

Coming into DePaul, I admittedly knew nothing about public relations, even as a public relations major. Through the College of Communication, I discovered PRSSA and learned how the chapter was furthering the careers of fellow students via networking opportunities and various events. I was instantly interested.


At the beginning of my sophomore year at DePaul, two PRSSA e-board members, Sarah Thaman and Konner Gross, came to my Introduction to Public Relations class and spoke about their experience with the chapter and their positions as e-board members. Sarah mentioned her involvement in the 2022 district conference and how it opened the door for her to become a member of the e-board. After that presentation, I eagerly kept an eye on DePaul PRSSA’s social media channels for the announcement of the district conference committees.


A few weeks later, I saw the announcement I’d been waiting for: Leadership was accepting committee members for the PR eLevated District Conference. After a couple of weeks, I was interviewed and notified that I would become a member of the Sponsorship Committee.


PR eLevated attendees pose during their site visit to Golin, a top PR firm.

Leading up to the conference, I worked on the sponsorship team where we collaborated in drafting emails to send to alumni and agencies in request for the sponsorship of our event. We also had weekly Zoom meetings where we touched base with teammates, providing updates on our sponsorship efforts and getting to know each other and the inner-workings of putting on an event that ended up hosting over 200 students and professionals. Being a part of this important committee in preparation for PR eLevated was a fun and relatively low maintenance way to become involved in the PRSSA Chapter… I’d recommend it for anyone interested in dipping their toe into this wonderful organization and building the important frameworks needed for a successful career in PR and/or communications.


Benefits


There are so many positive things I took away from my conference planning experience.


  • Connections with your peers


One thing that I really valued about my time on my committee was being able to connect with fellow PRAD majors and work with them toward one shared goal. We all grew much closer in preparation to and during the conference. From Zoom chats to laughs, being part of the committee gave me a built-in group of PRAD Pals that I still regard dearly today, months later.


  • A free ticket to PRess Play!


Attending PR eLevated provided me with endless networking opportunities with students and professionals alike. And being part of the committee that helped plan the conference is very impressive to any professionals you might meet during the event. As a committee member, I also had the opportunity to visit two prestigious PR agencies and sit in on insightful panels. Once the conference was over, we were immediately proud of our efforts and the positive feedback we received from attendees and PR pros. The network I developed thanks to my participation in PR eLevated sticks with me today.


  • The professional development is unmatched


Though the week of conference can be exhausting, your participation in prep activities and attendance at the conference will allow you to discover your niche within the industry and inspire you to make connections with other students and pros from around the region and nation. Be prepared for your LinkedIn inbox to be flooded with questions, admiration, and professionals’ praise by the end of the weekend!


  • It opens the door for further involvement within the PRSSA Chapter


Going into my committee position, I knew that I wanted to become a member of the chapter’s e-board in the future. Because of my help with the conference, e-board members knew my capabilities and trusted me to become a member of their leadership team. Since then, I’ve grown my network even further, have utilized my connections in classes and internships, and grown my skillset beyond anything I could’ve imagined pre-PR eLevated.


My Growth


After my positive experience with PR eLevated last year, I was appointed as the Vice President of Events for the 2023-2024 school year. And thanks to my demonstrated eagerness during the conference last year, I am now a Co-Conference Director for PRess Play. I have no doubt that this experience will strengthen my leadership skills and further foster connections with fellow students and professionals in the communications field.


I would recommend a committee position to anyone that wants to get their foot in the door within both the PRAD and PRSSA community at DePaul. My involvement in both conferences has been a focal point on my resume and has allowed me to become friends with our talented e-board members.


The 2023 PR eLevated planning team poses for a photo following the conclusion of the successful conference.

Next Steps


Interested in joining a committee position for the upcoming PRess Play conference? I say go for it. It will be an experience you won’t forget. Sign up using the application linked here.


Complete the short application by November 01 for top consideration. You will be asked to rank your top two committee choices from the following list: Programming, Sponsorship, Hospitality, Promotions, or Community Relations. Following your application, the PRess Play student leadership team will reach out to schedule a brief interview.


Whether you’re interested in a committee or not, mark your calendars for February 22-23, 2024. PRess Play is sure to be a must-attend event! Visit www.pressplaydepaul.com for more information and follow @PRessPlayDePaul on Instagram, LinkedIn and X (formerly Twitter) to stay up-to-date on the conference’s latest info.


Sadie Guffy is a junior PRAD student within the College of Communication. She is the current DePaul PRSSA VP of Events and Co-Director for the upcoming PRess Play District Conference.

 

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