SMU PRSSA Communication Career Workshop

SMU is so blessed to have a great group of students who run the SMU PRSSA chapter on campus. Every year SMU PRSSA host a communication career workshop that not only includes great speakers, but also a resume/portfolio review session, speed interviews, and a round table discussion with various communication professionals.

This was my second time attending and I just couldn’t wait to see what new things I would learn. Not only was the event free of charge to SMU students in a variety of majors, but it also included a great list of keynote speakers and communication professionals.

The first keynote speaker was Deanna McKinley, APR a public relations coordinator from Frito-Lay, Inc. Her presentation was called “Real World Public Relations: the things your PR teacher never told you.” With a title like that how could you not be excited to hear what she had to say? Ms. McKinley’s presentation gave all of the students in the room a better sense of what it meant to enter PR work field. She gave tips on how to be successful in this field such as being resourceful, internet savvy, flexible, and personable. Another thing that she found very important was for students to consider and pursue a master’s degree. Her presentation was very insightful and has definitely helped me as I pursue a career in the communications/PR field.
Our second keynote speaker was Mike D. Merrill the director of marketing at ReachLocal and the president of the Social Media Club of Dallas and an organizer at Ignite Dallas. Mr. Merrill’s presentation called “The Age of the Brandividual.” It was all about branding yourself through the use of social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flicker, and more. We now live in a world where your information is just one click away or one search away on the Internet. Branding yourself online is like your resume. Employers now search candidates online and that can honestly determine whether you get the job or not. This presentation was very insightful and gave me the information I needed to start branding myself.

If you would like to view his powerpoint presentation please click this link:

After the keynote speakers presented the students had the option to attend various sessions. I was able to participate in the resume review session with Blynn Austin who is a communications and organizational effectiveness analyst at Hostess Brands. Her advice when it came to my resume helped and gave me the insight I needed for future job or internship applications.

Other communication professionals that attended the communication career workshop were:

Carolyn Covey Morris (President and CEO, QMobius Inc.), Chris Andersen (Communications Director, The Marketing Arm), Jenny Walker (Marketing & Public Relations Manager, Airlines Center), Michelle Frith (Account Executive, Cooksey Communications), Dimyka Roberts (Ketchum), Casey Thompson (Regional Communications Specialist, Red Bull), Emily K. Graham (Senior Associate, Burson-Marsteller), Meredith Hite (Director of Public Relations, Dallas Market Center), Michaela Webb (Public Relations Specialist, Dallas Market Center), Christy Baily-Byers, APR (Distance Education & Communications, Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools), Rob Corolla (Director of Communications, Big 12 Conference), Gail Chandler (Public Affairs Communications, Texas Instruments), Stephanie Shaw (Account Supervisor, Ketchum), Amy Noesser (Account Coordintor, Ketchum), Mike Lake (Chairman, U.S. Public Affairs Practice & Southwest Region, Burson-Marsteller), Caryn Statman (Assistant Director at SMU Hegi Family Career Development Center), and Lisa Tran (Career Coach at SMU Hegi Family Career Development Center).

Overall, the SMU PRSSA workshop was great. I learned so much and was able to meet so many great communication professionals.


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