If you’re a member of PRSSA, you’re likely familiar with the Executive Board. The head honchos of our student chapter. Our fearless, flawless leaders. Our brilliant, overqualified, super-human overachievers. Or at least, that’s what we like to tell ourselves.
In reality, every board member got their start with an ordinary membership. We just knew we wanted to get more involved, felt like we were ready for the responsibility, and took the steps we needed to take to move forward with the election process.
How Do You Start the Process?
Running for the board might sound intimidating, but really all you do is choose the position or positions that you think you’d be best suited for, attend one of our open board meetings (the last one is on March 10, mark your calendar if interested), and submit your application and resume. From there, you go through an interview process and give a speech to your chapter about why you think you’d be the best fit for your role of choice, and then the EB members are determined by popular vote.
But this begs the question: Why run for the Executive Board in the first place? To answer that question, I’ve outlined a couple of major benefits I’ve found from my experience on the board.
1. Resume-building Experience
To say that a position on the e-board offers a breadth of experience would be an understatement. Depending on the position you’re in, you might become proficient in social media management, writing, event planning, or networking with professionals.
Regardless of what position you’re in, however, what remains consistent across the board is that you will learn how to work in a team and represent something bigger than yourself. You have to learn to coordinate with and depend on your fellow members, while in many cases, also being the leader of your own committee.
On your resume, a leadership position in PRSSA shows you’re dedicated to the industry. It shows you’re ambitious and know how to thrive in a professional environment (plus the flashy “VP of ________” title really catches the eye).
2. Long-lasting Friendships
A great aspect of being a part of the board is the relationships you make along the way. You work with your fellow board members to meet deadlines, advance PRSSA as an organization, and, through those tasks, bond with them on a regular basis. Once everything’s said and done, you’ve likely made some meaningful friendships. For example, I’m nearing the end of my experience with the board and can confidently say I’d recommend any of my fellow members to a future employer; if only because I would be ecstatic to have a chance to work with them again.
You’d think that what you’d miss most from your board position would be the professional perks or the opportunities that follow, but what you actually end up mourning the most is that you don’t have another biweekly board meeting scheduled where you get to catch up and work alongside your friends.
Running for board can be intimidating, but the experience you receive from your position is more than worth it. It puts you in a position to make professional connections, beef up your resume, and create lasting friendships with your fellow board members.
If I had one recommendation for anyone on the fence about applying for a board position, it would be: Just give it a shot! You won’t regret it.