Written by Brittany Nistler
The PRSA Certificate in the Principles of Public Relations is quickly becoming a fundamental necessity on PR resumes. This Certificate helps to differentiate college graduates from the others, thereby giving you that extra boost to stand out.
The test is available only to students who are:
(a) within six months of graduation (before or after) from an accredited college or university whose degree is in public relations or a related area of study; AND
(b) members of the Public Relations Student Society of America or student member of another UAB Participating Organization, such as the Florida Public Relations Association or the Southern Public Relations Federation.
I’m sure you thinking, “That’s nice, but is it really worth it?”
The answer is: YES! But don’t just take my word for it, Grace Granados and Yvonne Luu have both studied hard and passed the test!
What was it about the Certificate that first appealed to you? What was it exactly that encouraged you to take the exam?
When Ken was talking about this exam in my capstone class, he frequently said, “This certificate will help you stand out from other PR students,” and that peaked my interest, as I was about to enter the sea of aspiring PR graduates looking for jobs. During my time at CSUF, I invested more time into my extra curriculars and my studies than I did in my career. I waited to find an internship until my senior year and once I saw other PRSSA students talking about how many internships they’d had through college, I already felt behind. So once Ken brought up this exam, I figured that although this wouldn’t make up for my lack of experience, it would boost my resume and give me more confidence when applying for jobs. And it lets me and employers know that I, in fact, know what it means to have a career in public relations.
I was honestly hesitating when I first heard about the certificate from Professor Hagihara, mostly because it was the first time CSUF was offering the program, and there weren’t many people to personally vouch for it. But to know that this certificate can genuinely help you stand out among the competition—especially considering how only a handful of California colleges or universities have participated so far, I wanted to take advantage of this limited opportunity. Although there was little information surrounding the process available, I knew it would be a worthy investment for my career now and in the long run. I wanted to take initiative of ensuring I was doing what I could to be prepared for the “real world” after graduation.
What are some of the benefits of having this Certificate?
In class, Ken kept pushing that it would make us [PR majors] more marketable to future employers. Feeling as behind as I did when I graduated, I now feel more confident applying to PR jobs, because I feel like this certificate validated that I actually know what I learned in school. I already added this certificate to my resume and applied to a handful of jobs at the end of last week, so we’ll see what kind of doors this opens for me.
Being able to add this certification to your resume and stand out among your peers, particularly while fresh out of college, is a big benefit of receiving the certification. But to me, the most rewarding benefit is the confidence you’ll find yourself having upon passing the exam, because it validates your knowledge of public relations principles not only to potential employers, but especially to yourself.