What is your name, year, and major?

My name is Kaitlin Martinez, and I am a Communications graduate student– first year.

What sparked your interest in the field of PR?

I originally have a background in Journalism. While getting my undergraduate degree, I worked at the campus newspaper for three years, and I also worked a semester at the Daily Titan– so you know, go Titans! 

It was a really great experience, I enjoy writing and editing, but I just realized the pacing didn’t really fit me as a person. I wanted more structure in my workday, and I thought: okay, I’m willing to write for businesses that I care about and that I think are important for people to know about, so I thought that’s how marketing and public relations would be a good fit. 

I am currently taking professor Hagihara’s PR Writing II course, and I’m really enjoying it. We’re learning not just the format of writing for PR, but also applicable life skills in the field. He also recommended that we join PRSSA to gain access to all the different benefits provided and to do the Public Relations Certificate Program. So since that was something I really wanted to do to help build my professional knowledge of public relations, I became a member.

I also started with a focus on Journalism and made the switch to Public Relations. What inspired you to change?

I still appreciate and respect all that Journalists do. I just realized that I didn’t want to be entrenched in the industry. I feel like it’s the kind of industry where you don’t have the best work + life balance, and that’s something that I personally treasure. So I wanted a career that accommodated for that.

What are your goals for this year, and how can the PRSSA help you achieve them?

If we’re talking about the 2019-2020 academic year, my goal is to get an internship in PR, land a job in PR if possible, build my portfolio in terms of press releases and whatnot, and to take those next professional steps to solidify my career in PR.

I’m going to achieve that by getting more active in PRSSA in the spring. I’m also taking a PR for nonprofits class in the spring and doing different research projects to add to my portfolio. I’m trying to do all these things to get involved professionally in Public Relations and with PRSSA.

What is your favorite social media platform, and why?

Okay, I really love Facebook, and you’ll kind of hear why. So I joined this dog-spotting society kind of group on Facebook. It just has pictures of dogs you know people’s dogs, and then stories behind it. So I love it for the visual and the story component. For me, Instagram is mostly photos. So I like the balance that Facebook has as well as the variety of content.

How many years have you been at Cal State Fullerton?

This is my second semester, so my first year. Though I only have two more semesters left.

Where did you go for your undergraduate degree?

Whittier College, it’s a private liberal arts college.

How did you hear about the PRSSA?

I know for sure I heard about from Hagihara, but I also saw it in a booth and online. There was also a class presentation from a PRSSA member.

When not in class, where do you like to spend your time on campus?

I’m kind of a foodie, so I like going to Cafe Rio and Coffee Bean. Other than that, I think the library is a good spot. There are a lot of computers and charging stations, and because I’m doing research right now for my thesis, I’m spending a lot of time in the library.

What is your favorite class this semester?

This semester, I really like the PR class I’m taking with Hagihara because I like the variety of assignments we have with very real applicability for a professional career. I can say, “I did this,” and I can put this in my portfolio. I also appreciate my Communications Technologies class because it goes into tech and its social impact on us. It even talks about the politics of tech which is a really cool concept, and I appreciate that.

What is your name, age, and major?

My name is Amanda Arreguin, I’m 21, and I’m majoring in Communications with an emphasis in P.R.

What sparked your interest in the P.R industry?

I was originally a film major and took a communications class that was a requirement for film. The professor was really pitching for communications and said how versatile it is and how there are lots of opportunities for jobs. After my advisor showed me different syllabi for advertising and P.R., I was attracted more towards P.R. 

How did you hear about PRSSA?

I learned about PRSSA through my professor, Ken Hagihara. He talks about it a lot and he offered extra credit to go to the meetings. Even though, I was planning on attending now I get extra credit and am able to be a part of the organization.

What are your goals this year and how can PRSSA help to achieve them?

My goal for this year is to finalize what I am going to emphasize on which is probably going to be P.R. PRSSA is already helping me more, even my mom is surprised with what kind of jobs you can get with P.R, and I’m being introduced to more people through tours which is helpful.

What is your favorite class this semester? Least favorite?

My favorite class is a tie- I really like my P.R class, but I also really like my Cinema 103, where you watch movies and highlight Q&As. My least favorite class would probably be my cinema studies class, in general, it’s okay just a lot of work. 

What is your dream company or firm that you would like to work for?

It’s a new one because I came to the PRSSA panel, I would really want to work for Taco Bell. I really like Alec Treffers, who was on the panel, and it seems like a cool company to work for.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Instagram is probably my favorite, it’s more visually appealing and is also good at showcasing humor.

How has PRSSA enhanced your perception of the industry?

It’s made it a lot broader. When people think of P.R., they usually think of press releases, and it’s really not that. You can work with so many different companies and work in different types of P.R. It’s given me so much knowledge already that I didn’t know before. 

What’s the best advice you have heard from one of your P.R professors or from the panels?

My P.R professor, Ken, brought in a speaker today who said that “you need to be willing to fail to grow”. 

Can I start with your name, year, and major?

My name is Rebecca Metts. I am a junior, and I’m majoring in Communications and PR.

What sparked your interest in the field of PR?

Just the fact that it’s so broad. You can kind of do anything with it and go into government or your favorite organization or anything like that.

How did you hear about the PRSSA?

At Discoverfest, I met Bella and she introduced me to it. I’m a student that likes to get involved and try to meet friends and just meet people in general. She hooked me and so I just started coming to the meetings. Was that this year? It was this year. I’m a transfer so I’m new here. 

When you’re not in class where do you like to spend your time on campus?

I go to the rec center or the TSU like today, just doing homework.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

I think Instagram just cause I use it most. I don’t have a Twitter so I think Instagram. Facebook is okay. I just have a lot of family that bug me on there haha

What is your favorite class this semester?

I’m really liking my Digital Foundations class because I’ve never learned anything about Photoshop or anything like that. So I’m trying something new and getting out of my comfort zone. 

How has the PRSSA assisted you in your professional or academic life?

Last week actually, they sent an email if anyone wanted to volunteer with Modern Luxury Magazine, and I was able to volunteer with them, and it was really fun. There was a lot of really great food.

Hi, What is your name, year and major?

“My name is Alexis Roland, and I am a third-year Communications major with a concentration in PR, and a Political Science major.”

What sparked your interest in PR?

“I think the fact that I’ve been living my whole life in one of the focal centers of PR in Los Angeles. Also, the ability to change an image through words has been so appealing and interesting to me. Pictures speak a thousand words but a thousand words speak even more.”

If you were a fruit, what would you be and why?

“I would be a pineapple because I love the summer, I was born in the summer. I think pineapples are all around one of the best symbols of fun.”

How did you hear about PRSSA?

“I heard about PRSSA from other students at school, but also I feel like their social media presence helped me become more aware of the club which sparked my interest in it even more.”

Which panel have you enjoyed the most and which do you look forward to?


I just went to the last panel. I think ever since I joined the club last spring, all the panels have provided me with little gems in some way or the other. I have been to every panel since spring and they all have been great. The last panel has to be among my top favorites. Hearing from the president of POPSUGAR about having his own business and how he incorporated lifestyle from listening to audiences everyday was so cool. I am really excited for the fashion and beauty one because I have my own business (a beauty brand).It is a lash line and we have several different lashes. We cater to just making beauty an easy thing for people’s lifestyle. It’s called Winked Out (find us on all our socials). It’s my passion project right now.”

When not in class, where do you like to spend your free time on campus?

“I love hanging out in the TSU because I think it’s nice to be around like minded individuals who are going to school in such a cool place where it’s easy to talk to people. Everybody is pretty open with each other. There is definitely a sense of community.”

What are your goals for this year and how can PRSSA help in achieving them?

“My goals for this year is just to learn about different the PR industries. At the last event, some panelists who are PR specialists came from Karma Automotive  and Virgin Orbit and what they had to say taught me so much. Just learning about different industries is definitely one of my goals and that will be possible by going to all the panels and hearing everyone’s story.”

How has PRSSA assisted you in your professional life or academic life since joining?

“Whenever I talk to my Communications professors and tell them I am in PRSSA, it just shows them that I am really interested in getting my career started. The internship database is amazing, by looking at it, I can see areas where I see myself working for in the future.”

What is your favorite social media platform?

“Twitter is my favorite right now because I feel anyone can speak their mind, tell their truth, and be themselves on this platform. It’s like a community you’ve built for yourself.” 

Best advice that you’ve heard from one of the panels?

“I remember we had a speaker from Nickelodeon come in the past. He gave us advice to keep going and not quit because a lot of people seem to quit right in the beginning. I think his story demonstrated a lot of resilience.”

You have been a member of PRSSA and have enjoyed the opportunities of going on exclusive tours, networking with your favorite companies and making life-long friends. Now as you make your way through midterms, mixers, and the late night study sessions, you realize graduation is right around the corner…

It will soon be time to take the next steps on your public relations journey. But what will launch your career in public relations, you ask? First, become a member of PRSA— PRSSA’s parent organization and then follow these three steps in how to immerse yourself within PRSA!

#1.) Utilize the PRSA Job & Internship Center

As a member, you have full access to the PRSA Job Center & the PRSSA Internship Center. These career resources are here to help you secure an internship before graduation and get jobs after graduation. The PRSA Job Center will help you design a professional resume, write a great cover letter, provide interview tips and build your personal brand. This database allows you to explore a variety of paths in public relations and to find out where your passion lies. 

#2.) Complete the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations 

CSUF PRSSA seniors will receive free PRSA membership with the completion of the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations. This Certificate represents your professional expertise, as well as your personal and professional dedication to the PR industry. In the highly competitive PR world, the Certificate will distinguish you from the competition of hundreds of other recent graduates in the job search. 

“After graduating, I was interviewed by several hiring managers. Eight out of ten said that the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations stood out to them as they screened my résumé.”

                 Kimberly Martin  Customer Service Communications Office

                                                                               

#3.) Become an active PRSA member by volunteering 

Volunteering is a great way to get involved and meet like-minded PR professionals. By volunteering at check-ins, greeting members, and assisting with guest speakers this allows you to become the face of your PRSA chapter. This exposure will give you a solid foundation to build network connections, develop interpersonal skills, and gain valuable work experience. 

“It’s not about simply adding ‘PRSA member’ to your resume. PR firms and companies want to know how active you are in the organization. Being an active member shows you are serious about your future in the industry.” 

      -Professor Kenneth Hagiahara, Marketing & PR Professional & Educator  

You bought your membership, you went to your first event and naturally, now you want to know how you can maximize your membership to be further involved in PRSSA. 

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But…how do you do that exactly? I had the same exact question when I first joined PRSSA about a year ago. Looking at my time at PRSSA, I have deduced that there are three excellent ways for first-time or long-time members to get further involved with the organization!

#1.) Join A Committee

Joining a committee is a great way to become further involved and learn about how PRSSA puts on events. There are so many different committees to join, you may even find an interest in something that completely surprises you! These are an excellent way to get to know other people within the organization, along with building up your resume and gaining experience in whatever you may choose. Interested in planning events, finance, digital communication or even pitching to potential sponsors? Committee members are able to help with all that! Simply reach out to any board member to inquire about their committee.

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#2.) Join Titan PR

Not only is Titan PR a great way to gain work experience, but it is also a way to become more involved in PRSSA. Titan PR is our student-run public relations firm and requires no past experience to apply. They host exclusive workshops and speakers for their members, in addition to helping you develop important workplace skills. Joining allows you to work on multiple facets such as social media, press releases, event planning and so much more! You must be a PRSSA member to apply, so this is a great opportunity to get to know and work with your fellow members. 

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#3.) Ask Any Board Member

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Not only is the board here to put on programming, but they are also here to help you in any way possible! Interested in a certain position? You can ask to shadow them through their duties! Interested in specific volunteering opportunities? Reach out to the board for more information! From looking over your resume with you to forming a study group, the board is an excellent resource for your academic advancement (and hey, they’re kinda fun too).

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.

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.

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