Our International Conference Directors have had the opportunity to write a series of blog posts for Progressions, PRSSA’s National blog. They wrote on a variety of topics, including how to prepare for the International Conference. It is best to show up prepared to Conference in order to maximize the amount of learning and networking you are set to do. Communications Director, Isabella Garcia, best summarizes the top three things you should do to prepare for International Conference:

Create or Update LinkedIn.

Make sure you create or update your LinkedIn account before attending the Conference. LinkedIn is a crucial tool to manage your professional identity. By having an account, you can build up your network and engage with many other professionals in the industry. Ensure your bio is up to date as well as your headshot. Also, check that your position descriptions have no grammatical errors or typos. Lastly, maintain professionalism throughout your account; the last thing you want is professionals not to take your profile seriously enough because it is reminiscent of a Facebook account.

Pro tip: After attending a session or networking reception, immediately send an invite to any professionals you met or chatted with.

Download the LinkedIn App.

Just like most companies in the 21st century, LinkedIn now has an app! We recommend you download the app before the Conference to get used to playing around with it. This year the Conference will offer a LinkedIn scan code. The scan code will make it easier for you to add presenters and speakers from the Conference rather than having to search up their name. Also included in the app is a Bluetooth feature so that you can find people near you.

Pro tip: Anytime you send an invite to someone, be sure to include a personal note so that they remember where they met you or what you both talked about.

Business Cards

In our opinion, there’s nothing better than carrying business cards around. If you don’t have business cards yet, we strongly encourage you to invest in some before the International Conference. When creating them, make sure you use your preferred name on them along with your phone number, email, your field of study and the college you are attending. You want to make sure your business cards reflect you and your personality but are also a professional representation of you.

Pro tip: Think about adding a QR code to your business cards that will send people to your online portfolio or LinkedIn account!

Don’t miss out on the amazing opportunity to attend International Conference this year, especially since it is located in sunny San Diego. The early registration has been extended until September 13th, so make sure to register and get ready for the experience of a lifetime. 


Over the summer, many of our members had the opportunity to learn valuable skills while at their internships. Some members of our executive board have written about their experience at their summer internships and what they learned. 

Kristen Cuaresma | Marketing and Communications Intern | The Broad 

Like many toward the end of the Spring semester, I began to wonder what my summer plans would entail. I never would have thought that I would be working full-time in a scholarship program that would allow me to intern at one of Los Angeles’s premier contemporary art institutes. For ten weeks, I spent my time learning about communications, public relations, advertising, marketing and art at The Broad. This amazing opportunity was made possible by the Getty Foundation through its summer Getty Marrow Undergraduate Internship program. Promoting diversity in the art world, I was able to learn how The Broad promoted itself and its special exhibition, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983. Each day, I spent my day learning about my chosen field of study while also expanding my knowledge in the different fields of art. It honestly was a summer to remember. I expanded my knowledge in various areas of studies while making connections and memories that will last a lifetime. 

Danny Cristofaro  | Public Relations Intern  | Kingston Technology

Beginning in May of 2019, I have had the opportunity to intern in the Public Relations department at Kingston Technology in Fountain Valley. At Kingston, I edit press releases, conduct research for upcoming products and their competitors, and assist in brainstorming new strategies for interacting with both reviewers and the tech marketplace as a whole. The skills and connections I have made would never have been possible without Kingston, and I am incredibly excited to see how far I can go with Kingston by my side. An experience of this magnitude would not have been possible without the networking done through PRSSA and I must thank the organization for getting me to where I am today!

Isabella Garcia  |  Marketing Intern   | Echo Media Group

     At the end of May, I started my journey as a Marketing Intern at Echo Media Group in Tustin, California. I heard about this internship opportunity through a former CSUF PRSSA president, Andrew Vo, who came to our last panel of the Spring semester to share with students about the position. That night after getting information about the internship, I went home and stayed up late to work on my cover letter and resume to send to Echo Media Group the next day. When I found out I got the internship, I was excited and nervous for what was to come. I spent my summer learning so much more than just marketing. I was able to learn so much about marketing, public relations, and social media. My task were made up of monitoring social media accounts, creating Instagram stories, and creating excel sheets with local and national media outlets. I learned more than I ever imagined that I could at this internship.    

Don’t forget about our exclusive internship database! We update our database regularly to provide you with the most up-to-date opportunities in a wide variety of industries. Spend less time searching for internships and more time applying to what may be your next one! This is only one of the benefits that comes with your PRSSA membership.

      Welcome back to the start of another academic year! The start of a new year can be overwhelming, especially for someone who has just started their college journey. We’ve all gone through it before: the uncertainty, excitement and curiosity that surrounds starting classes

     How do you get involved and get the most out of your college experience? What should you join? These questions aren’t exclusively for first year students, but for anyone that wants to enjoy and excel in their college career.

With that said, here are the top 5 reasons YOU should join PRSSA this upcoming year:

Reason #1: Making Worthwhile Connections

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PRSSA is a place where you can meet other people that are ready to start their career and taking the steps to do so. Chances are many of our members will be hitting similar milestones or will be able to offer each other advice. Getting to meet others with familiar end goals as you serves as a foundation for a strong friendship. Everything’s better with a friend!

Reason #2: Countless Career Opportunities

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It’s no secret that PRSSA is full of exclusive opportunities for its members! We host bi-weekly panels, agency tours and mixers for our members to take full advantage of. Additionally, PRSSA has an internship database that is always being updated for our members to find their next internship to boost their experience level. 

Reason #3: Volunteering Opportunities

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Did you know that PRSSA also links its members with volunteering opportunities in relevant industries? Many of our members have worked red carpets, starred in photoshoots for local companies, worked music events and so much more! Working these kinds of events can be your opening to gaining connections in the industries that you want to build a career in.

Reason #4: OC PRSA Discount for Graduating Seniors

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Being a PRSSA member means you are eligible for a discounted OC PRSA membership after graduation! The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the parent organization to PRSSA and home to a multitude of events, mixers and major opportunities to take your career to the next level. PRSSA members get a major discount for their OC PRSA membership their first year, so it is recommended you take full advantage of all the perks and benefits available!

Reason #5: The Certificate of PR

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     The Certificate of PR is a certificate that can be earned by taking an exam either 6 months before or after graduating that shows your determination and knowledge of all things PR. This certificate helps you stand out among other recent graduates going into the same job market and is only offered through a PRSSA membership. CSUF currently has a 100% pass rate since implementing the program which has been heavily vouched for by faculty and alumni that have taken it!

By: Giselle Gallegos

So you took the classes, spruced up your resume, and finally perfected your elevator pitch. Now what? How can you take the skills you have learned and put them into practice? What else can you do to help you further your career?

The answer is simple: network.

By networking and socializing, you are putting your name and face out into the workforce and building connections that can help you get to where you want. You may be able to secure an interview or learn of an internship that you would not have previously known about. Not only that, but you can also help others in their own career endeavors.

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However, some of us may not be completely comfortable with the idea of networking and socializing in a professional sense. This is entirely understandable, as it may be nerve wracking to talk to new people. This is why it is important to practice your socializing skills and truly make yourself comfortable with meeting and speaking to others. Some things you can do to make yourself feel more at home with networking are:

  1. Attending events that interest you

By attending events that are of interest to you, your chances of finding another individual with similar goals or helpful information are higher. You will be able to speak on topics that both of you can identify with, which can more easily contribute to building a relationship.

2. Network frequently

The best way to get better at anything is to practice. If your skills are a little rusty, it is important to socialize often in order to build upon them!

3. Have confidence in yourself

If you continually are second-guessing yourself and putting yourself down mentally, chances are that other people can see your lack of confidence. By practicing positive thinking, you can habitually change the way you approach socializing.

4. Don’t be afraid to have fun

Networking doesn’t have to be stiff and impersonal! It is perfectly fine to crack jokes and have fun with the people you are meeting. Allowing your personality to shine through is a great way to make yourself memorable.

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Just as important as the socializing itself is the follow-up. Maintaining your relationships is crucial to having people remember you. This part doesn’t have to be intimidating either! Giving them your business card is a great start, but you can also follow-up with a friendly email every now and then to catch up. Social media sites such are Linkedin or Twitter are also a great way to connect and keep up with the people that you meet, as you can both easily view and share your accomplishments and endeavors.

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With that, it should also be stated that networking goes both ways. A good networker offers their help to others and takes a genuine interest in their relationships. Your help to others may be a useful contact, advice on a project, or maybe even something pertaining to their personal life. As the Golden Rule says: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

With the right mindset, networking is not as intimidating as it might initially seem. You probably are already forming meaningful and impactful relationships in your personal life, now it is time to form them within your professional circles.

Hi, can I get your name, year, and major?

My name is Ialaina Burgos, and I am in my Junior year in college. I transferred from Cypress college and now I’m here at California State University in Fullerton! I’m a Communications major with a concentration in PR.

How long have you been in PRSSA and what made you decide to join?

Right now, this is my second semester in PRSSA. I heard about PRSSA when I first attended the orientation for transfers. They spoke about how it’s a good organization to join, especially if you want a career in PR and gain networking opportunities. It provides you with many opportunities in order to expand your horizons so that once you graduate you will have a stepping stone into your career. Especially since I’m a transfer student and only have two years left, I felt I needed to make the best of everything available.

What is one thing you look forward to in your career with PR?

Some things I look forward to is learning more about PR, getting hands-on experience, and getting to put my years of hard work and studying into good use, so that I can start a stable career for myself.

What is your favorite place to hang out on campus?

My favorite place to hang out would either be the library or the TSU. I really enjoy the TSU because there’s a lot of food and areas to hang out with friends or study.

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What other clubs or organizations are you a part of?

I’m part of JCC, which is the Japanese Culture Club, and I am also a part of Circle K! Circle K is an international collegiate service club, with many opportunities to volunteer and help the community.

What are some of your hobbies?

I like to play video games! The one I’m playing right now is Persona 5, but it’s so hard to choose a favorite! I also like to watch anime, search the internet, and I really like to hang out with friends. I enjoy singing, dancing, eating, and traveling! I’m a social butterfly, so I also enjoy talking to other people.

What are three words that best describe you?

Three words would be: nerdy, extroverted, and fashionable!

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Out of the panels that you have been to, which have you enjoyed the most?

My favorite one was Lifestyle PR, because they brought in a guest speaker from Blizzard Entertainment which is basically my dream job. I was really excited and happy to be a part of listening to everything Lindsay had to say and her transition from CSUF to where she is now. It made me so excited to realize I could be in that industry and field!

Do you have any mentors or someone you look up to?

I look up to my older sister, who is a really big inspiration in my life. She has accomplished so much after graduating from CSULB. She worked for Tiger, a Japanese rice cooking company, and eventually moved to Japan to teach English. She is a very strong and independent woman and has given me so much life advice over the years.

Do you have a motto or personal mantra that you like to follow?

Be yourself, follow your dreams and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise because in the end it is you that matters the most. Even though you build so many relationships and meet so many people, in the end you yourself need to pull yourself through and achieve what you believe in.

By: Mayla Lohnes

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So, you want to work in Public Relations, after graduation? If you are interested in this type of industry, you will need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills, as well as be proficient in people skills. Public Relations is “the profession or practice of creating and maintaining goodwill of an organization’s various publics, usually through publicity and other unpaid forms of communication” (Business Dictionary). If you have often been left wondering what specific job you can obtain within this field, have no fear! The job opportunities are endless.

(Promotional Careers in Public Relations:) https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/public-relations-jobs

One area of PR worth considering is working in non-profit. Non-profit companies benefit from PR in the sense that they need the publicity to help raise awareness for an organization, share a cause, or help to promote an event of interest. While the downfall may be that they don’t pay as well as other areas of PR, they are great jobs to consider if you feel passionate about an organization that you want to get behind. As Brianna Whiting describes, from an online study group on Public Relations and the Non-Profit Sector, non-profit organizations “are those organizations that are tax exempt and rely heavily on donations to keep operating. They often use effective communication, stories, spokespersons, and social media as public relations methods to promote their cause.” The great thing about working for a non-profit is that it usually is a tight-knit organization focused on a larger area of value. Some examples include: The American Red Cross, Special Olympics, or various charities. If you feel strongly inclined to help other people and work for a company that speaks to you, you may want to look into working for a non-profit. Check out the link below to learn more about nonprofit PR.

(Different Types of Jobs in Public Relations:)

https://www.wayup.com/guide/what-are-the-different-types-of-public-relations-jobs/

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Another aspect of public relations is working within the digital field of social media, such as a social media coordinator or content creator. In this type of work, you would be responsible for planning, executing, and branding the social media for a company and increasing the company’s brand awareness for their media. Not only are you responsible for creating an appealing social media layout for the brand, but you would be responsible for making the media stand out, so as to increase a brand’s sales as well. It is also important that you have an understanding of how to use social media, such as: Facebook, Linkedin, Snapchat, and Instagram. While it pays to have a knack for social media, it is important to understand that so much more goes into being able to work in this type of field. You must have the passion and the drive, as well as organizational skills to help you stay on top of your work.

(Public Relations Specialists Jobs:)

https://collegegrad.com/careers/public-relations-specialists

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Another avenue public relations is a part of is event planning management. One important thing to remember is that public relations is all about building relationships and creating a cohesive reputation for the client, and using those relationships to help create events for a group of people. While public relations within the event planning industry is a rewarding and tedious job, it is not the sole purpose of the job. If you are considering a job in event planning, you must be organized, detail-oriented, and create schedules and objectives. As an event planner in public relations, it is important that you understand the event as a whole (from beginning to end). You must be able to think creatively, as you will want to come up with ideas that are unique and that stand out. It is also important to remember that in event planning, the client is who you will report to the most. Building and maintaining a relationship with your client will keep them satisfied, and make sure you get the wages you deserve. While event planners and PR people sometimes collide, it is the PR people that need to make sure they are working alongside the event planners, so that they are able to give the media coverage on the event at hand.

(Public Relations Job Titles:)

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/public-relations-job-titles-2061504h

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While there are a wide variety of jobs in public relations, non-profit jobs, social media coordinator, and event planning are just a few of the many jobs you can get into. Ultimately, it is up to you and your passions that will allow to you narrow down the job that is right for you. Just remember, do something that intrigues you, keep practicing your writing and communication skills, and never give up on your dreams! Public relations can be a rewarding and fulfilling job at the end of the day.

If you want to know more about what public relations entails, don’t hesitate to come to a PRSSA panel. As a member, you will be able to network and build relationships with the panelists.

→ Make sure to follow @csufprssa on Instagram to learn more information about the organization, and to see what nights we will be having our panels. ←

Hi, could we get your name, age, and major?

My name is Crystal Arellano, I am 21, and my major is Communications with an emphasis in PR.

What is your favorite place to hang out on campus?

My favorite place to hang out is at the Chicano Resource Center, because I have a little family there in which I feel like I am a part of something. I feel comfortable doing homework there, or just relaxing and hanging out with friends.

How long have you been a part of PRSSA and what made you decide to join?

I have been in PRSSA for one semester. I wanted to join because it is definitely somewhere where you can network with any other PR majors and start to learn more about the field that you want to go into. So far I have really enjoyed the panels, because they are very informative and you get a more in-depth view of what it’s like to be in the business. Not only that, it’s been really helpful to receive tips on what you should be doing now to get to where you want to be.

Which of the panels have been your favorite so far and why?

The first panel, The ABCs of Lifestyle PR, has been my favorite so far. I think I enjoyed that one because we got to see four different speakers who were from completely different industries in PR, so I think it helped us decide what we were more interested in doing.

What is one thing you look forward to in your career?

I really enjoy writing, so I most look forward to exploring what my potential is within PR writing.

What has PRSSA taught you that you can use in the PR industry?

It had taught me that nothing that you are doing now is going to go to waste, because any work opportunity is going to be of value and help you in the future with whatever you decide to pursue.

What branch of PR do you see yourself working in, and why?

I am very interested in event planning, because it is one of the things I have had experience leading. I like being kept on my toes and working at a fast pace, along with being able to see the outcome of the work you put in.

What did you like about this last panel?

I liked that we got to see a different type of PR that we can pursue a career in. I feel like the guest speakers allowed us to see the worth in going into nonprofit work, and it was very inspiring to see the passion they have for their work. It opens up an interest for me within nonprofit PR.

What would you say are the top three words to best describe you?

Silly, organized, and loud!

Do you have a motto or personal mantra that you like to live by?

Live today to the fullest, because tomorrow is not promised.

By: Giselle Gallegos

Maybe you’ve heard the term before: Elevator Pitch. So, what is it exactly?

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Put simply, an elevator pitch is a short speech on what a company, business, or individual does and inspires interest to those listening. It should be less than a minute long or around the time of an elevator ride, hence the clever name!

Elevator pitches are useful in getting your point across to somebody in a short amount of time, which prevents them from losing interest and gives them all the necessary information quickly. This is helpful to individuals who are trying to secure clients or meetings with investors. However, you can also use an elevator pitch to market yourself to potential employers.

Knowing what an elevator pitch is can be the first part in constructing your own elevator pitch; the next part is gathering the most important points to communicate during the speech.

To start off, make sure to tell the listener what your organization does. Do you sell paper? Rescue puppies? Making sure you start off with what your company/business does makes for less confusion and more comprehension on the listeners’ part. If you are using your pitch to market yourself, tell them if you are currently attending school or your current employment.

If you are marketing yourself, the middle of the speech should contain any specialties or gained skills that you have. For instance, making sure that a potential employer knows that you have past PR experience is a great jumping off point and could get you an interview. If you are pitching a company, it is important to add in anything that gives your business a unique approach. This is how you garner interest in what you are trying to promote.

Finally, your pitch should include either a question or a call to action. By asking a question that pertains to the topic at hand, you are involving the listener within your speech. The same is true for a call to action, such as asking for a one on one meeting to further explain your pitch.  By taking a leap such as this one, you may find yourself succeeding with your pitch.

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It should also be noted that sometimes you don’t succeed, and the listener is simply not looking to buy into what you are pitching. In such instances, it is essential to take the rejection with grace and learn from the experience. Every pitch is an opportunity for you to practice your speech, which will only get better with time.

As with most things, elevator pitches are all about the communication. Being able to quickly communicate what you are all about and looking for is a skill in itself, which is sure to help you within your career path.



Need PR experience? Join Titan Public Relations!

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You’re finally in college and have no idea what to do first. How will you gain the experience needed to enter the workforce strong after graduation? Are you looking to enhance your portfolio with examples to showcase?

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If you answered yes to both of these questions, then you should join Titan Public Relations!

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Titan Public Relations is a student-run firm that provides hands-on experience working in public relations, that is provided exclusively for PRSSA members. The firm was created to alleviate one of the biggest stressors that come with being a college student. One of those stressors is not having enough experience to show on your resume when applying to jobs/internships. Through Titan Public Relations, members get experience with writing, creating content for social media, and working with real-world clients. Titan Public Relations has worked with clients like Walls That Unite, The Muckenthaler Cultural Center, and Hollywood Music in Media Awards. Titan Public Relations has provided members with experience in photography, content creation, event planning, and outreach. Through this experience, members have been able to secure internships and jobs after including Titan Public Relations on their resume.

Caitlin Lopez, Executive Director, was an Account Executive in Spring 2018. She says that Titan Public Relations has helped her to develop her knowledge of working in the public relations industry. “I learned to write a lot of media alerts and email pitches, which have helped me to be more confident in my writing assignments for my other classes,” said Caitlin. “Titan Public Relations has provided me with the skills that employers are looking for when I am applying for jobs.”

Tonjanae Watson, Executive Director, raves about how great of an experience she has had thus far. “This is the best low-risk experience a student can get,” said Tonjanae. “There is no grade nor paycheck attached. You are free to make mistakes without repercussion. Use the firm as your foundation for your career. Words cannot describe how invaluable being a part of Titan Public Relations is as an investment for your future.”

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Titan Public Relations not only provides the valuable experience for members, but also opens up opportunities for members to network with clients and their peers. Don’t miss out on this experience that can help launch your career in the public relations industry. This is a great opportunity for students to shine and see where they can grow.  We are now accepting applications for spring semester.

For more information, please email titanpublicrelationscsuf@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Titan Public Relations meets on campus Tuesdays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Campus Location TBA.

Written by Brittany Nistler

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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?”

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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?

Grace:

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.

Yvonne:

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.

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What are some of the benefits of having this Certificate?

Grace:

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.

Yvonne:

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.

 

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Interested in the Certificate? For more information, email Kenneth Hagihara at khagihara@fullerton.edu or Brittany Nistler at brittanynistler@gmail.com