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.

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.

CSUF PRSSA President Andrew Vo Receives Highest National IndividualPRSSA Award

Vo Becomes First CSUF Student to be Honored With National Gold Key Award in 15 Years

 

FULLERTON, CA, October 7, 2017 – Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) announced California State University, Fullerton’s Chapter President Andrew Vo as a recipient of the 2017 National Gold Key, the highest individual honor bestowed upon PRSSA members. The organization announced winners of the award in Boston at PRSSA National Conference, the largest gathering of public relations students and professionals in the country.

“I’ll never forget joining PRSSA my freshman year, and I will never forget this moment!” said Chapter President Andrew Vo.

As president, Vo mentored public relations students to help launch their careers. Besides PRSSA, Vo participated in Titan Public Relations, Kidz For a Cause, Walls that Unite, The Maxwell Center for International Communications, and Global Engagement Programs at California State University, Fullerton. He also plans to join Orange County PRSA after he graduates this May.

The National Gold Key is awarded to students who excel in the study of public relations, pursue ambitious professional development opportunities, and prove themselves as leaders in their PRSSA Chapters.

Members of PRSSA are encouraged to apply for individual awards and scholarships provided by PRSA, the parent Chapter of PRSSA. To learn more about PRSSA scholarships, visit the scholarships and awards tab at www.prssa.prsa.org.

 

About The Public Relations Student Society of America at CSUF

The Public Relations Student Society of America at California State University, Fullerton is the premier organization for students to jump-start their careers in communications and public relations. PRSSA retains the highest membership of all PRSSA Chapters on the West Coast and is the largest on-campus Student-run communications organization. PRSSA exposes our members to all facets and intricacies of the public relations profession across the spectrum by providing speaker events, career tours, mixers and more. PRSSA is the only organization affiliated with a professional Chapter and is the only on-campus organization to offer a Student-run public relations firm that exposes students to real-world opportunities such as social media management, red carpets, writing and more.

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Writer: Allison Thuang

Media Contact: csufprssa@gmail.com

CSUF PRSSA Chosen to Host 2018 Regional Conference for its 50th Anniversary

Robert. E. Rayfield Chapter Will Organize 2018 Regional Conference for Western U.S.

FULLERTON, Calif. (October 5, 2017) – The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has selected California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) to host the PRSSA 2018 Regional Conference for the Western District of the United States. Attendees who participate will have the opportunity to attend local agency and corporate tours, an evening mixer, and informative breakout sessions featuring standout panelists and speakers.

 

CSUF was chosen among a number of applicants that participated through a competitive application and interview process. Titled “Next Generation PR,” the Conference will be held in alignment with PRSSA’s 50th Anniversary and will look toward the “next generation” of public relations professionals.

 

“I am so honored to be serving out the final year of my presidency during our organization’s 50th year,” said Andrew Vo, CSUF Regional Conference committee member and president of the CSUF PRSSA Chapter. “I hope members leave the Conference inspired and driven to continue expanding their knowledge and skillsets.”

 

The Conference, which aims to advance students’ education, broaden their networks and launch their careers, will host over 20 universities in California and over 20 universities in nearby states such as Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. The invitation will also be extended to local high school and community colleges.

 

Over 20 students will represent CSUF at PRSSA National Conference in Boston later this week. The event is the single largest yearly gathering of PRSSA members in the nation.

 

For more information about the Conference visit www.csufprssa.org.

 

About Public Relations Student Society of America at CSUF

The Public Relations Student Society of America at California State University, Fullerton is the premier organization for students to jump-start their career in communications and public relations. PRSSA retains the highest membership of all PRSSA chapters on the West Coast and is the largest on-campus Student-run communication organization. PRSSA exposes our members to all facets and intricacies of the public relations field across the spectrum by providing speaker events, career tours, mixers and more. PRSSA is the only organization affiliated with a professional chapter and is the only on-campus firm to offer a Student-run public relations firm that exposes students to real-world opportunities such as a social media management, red carpets, writing and more.

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Media Contact: Andrew Vo at csufprssa@gmail.com

Writer: Arianna Ford

 

CSUF PRSSA Bestowed With Star Chapter Award

Chapter Announced Winners at National Conference Awards Ceremony

 

FULLERTON, CA, October 9, 2017 – Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) awarded California State University, Fullerton the Star Chapter Award for its achievements in professional development at the PRSSA 2017 National Conference Awards Ceremony in Boston.

 

The Robert E. Rayfield Chapter met all ten qualifications of the award to be honored as Star Chapter. California State University, Fullerton conducted extensive high school and community college outreach and attended Orange County PRSA monthly board meetings to strengthen their relationship with their sponsoring PRSA Chapter. The Chapter also created a viral video titled “Let’s Get Ethical” during Ethics Month and completed a community service project in collaboration with Titan Public Relations, the Chapter’s Student-run firm, and Working Wardrobes, a nonprofit organization.

 

Among other qualifications, the organization received positive media exposure on The Daily Titan, a Student-run newspaper on campus, for the inaugural graduation ceremony hosted for PRSSA seniors. The Chapter extended an invitation to the entire campus through an email blast on the CSUF portal, which potentially reached over 40,000 students and faculty members.

 

PRSSA offers awards for strong leadership, Student-run firms, and superlative Chapters. Visit www.prssa.prsa.org for more information about PRSSA Chapter Awards.

 

About The Public Relations Student Society of America at CSUF

The Public Relations Student Society of America at California State University, Fullerton is the premier organization for students to jump-start their careers in communications and public relations. PRSSA retains the highest membership of all PRSSA Chapters on the West Coast and is the largest on-campus Student-run communications organization. PRSSA exposes our members to all facets and intricacies of the public relations profession across the spectrum by providing speaker events, career tours, mixers and more. PRSSA is the only organization affiliated with a professional Chapter and is the only on-campus organization to offer a Student-run public relations firm that exposes students to real-world opportunities such as social media management, red carpets, writing and more.

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Writer: Allison Thuang

Media Contact: csufprssa@gmail.com

 

In retrospect, I may not be the most stellar example of a PRSSA alumna. Don’t get me wrong; I was a pretty involved member while I was in college. I joined CSUF’s Chapter when I was a freshman, and throughout my four years as an undergrad I was on a committee and served as the Chapter’s vice president for two terms.

 

However, my current job isn’t in public relations. I can’t remember the last time I’ve touched a media list or wrote a press release. In fact, while my job mostly involves social media, it’s more from a *gasp* advertising perspective. (Say it ain’t so!) But I do work for a pretty cool company that does some pretty cool stuff, if I do say so myself.

 

When all is said and done, I can definitely say that PRSSA set me up for success at “adulting” and my professional life. I didn’t end up doing PR after I graduated, but I cannot express enough how PRSSA helped me regardless. Here are five different ways that being in PRSSA boosted – no pun intended – my career:

 

  1. Built my (somewhat palpable) networking skills

I’m an introvert by nature. It’s easy to tell that networking isn’t my favorite activity. Part of me would rather be swallowed up by a giant hole in the ground than have to go in a room full of strangers and make “small talk.” Lucky me, with PRSSA there were plenty of opportunities to be stuck in large rooms with a ton of strangers. In this case though, the stakes were low. Better to sheepishly discuss the weather with a fellow student than act a fool in front of the bigwig from your dream company. Am I now a networking guru? No, far from it. But I can go up to another loner and break the ice by asking if they feel as awkward as I do right now. (Most of the time it’s a pretty effective icebreaker.)

 

  1. Gave me access to internships

Fun fact: I was able to land both of the internships I had as an undergrad because of my involvement in PRSSA. For my first internship, my prospective boss was a speaker at one of my Chapter’s events, so I was able to introduce myself and put a face to the name. Also, the intern before me was actually on my Chapter’s executive board. From her, I was able to learn about the internship and get tips on the skills needed to shine in the role. As for my second internship, I met someone at an OCPRSA event who then told me that her agency was looking for an intern. The internship listing wasn’t even posted online! (See? Awkward small talk can come in handy!)

 

  1. Let me hear from world-class talent and professionals

As a working adult, conferences are EXPENSIVE…way pricier than your Chapter’s annual membership fee. Despite that astonishing price difference, the knowledge imparted from the Chapter’s speaker events are worth no less. Take advantage of the fact that your executive board gathers tons of smart and talented people on your campus that are honestly on par with any fancy professional conference. While I was in PRSSA, I had the privilege to attend panels with speakers from Taco Bell, the Walt Disney Company, Warped Tour and more. In the words of Hamilton: An American Musical, “do not throw away your shot.”

 

  1. Gave me a sense of community

Yeah, yeah…I can see your eyes rolling through your phone or computer screen right now, but hear me out. I probably gained as much insight through other PRSSA members as I did our guest speakers. Older members were able to warn me beforehand about our major’s public relations capstone course. (It WILL consume your life for a semester, whether you like it or not.) I was able to commiserate over the job-hunting struggle with my peers after meetings, and I coordinated schedules with my PRSSA friends to take classes with them. Heck, I still hang out with a lot of these friends today! It’s not that often that you’re surrounded by tons of people your age with the same interests, so hold on to it while you can.

 

  1. Kept my mind open for opportunities

When I was in high school, I had the pleasure of attending several leadership seminars from a motivational speaker named Scott Lang. One of his mantras was, “The more you give, the more you get. But the more you get, the more you have to give.” This statement has stuck with me ever since and followed me through college and my professional life.

When I joined PRSSA, I was so motivated to get involved that I sought out opportunities like no other. (I stuck to our executive board like an over-eager puppy.) It led me to become a member of our regional conference committee when I was a sophomore, and that exposure helped me get elected to the Chapter’s executive board my junior and senior years. Yes, it was a lot of hard work and took up a lot of my time, but it also opened so many doors. It gave me access to opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Even though I currently don’t have a job in public relations, the experiences I had and the lessons I learned go far beyond any career field.

 

About Amanda Nogaki

Twitter: @aNogaki | LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anogaki/

 

Amanda Nogaki is a marketing communications and branding professional based in Orange County, California. She graduated summa cum laude from California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) with a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications, a concentration in public relations and a minor in sociology. She served as two-term vice president of CSUF’s PRSSA Chapter, and she was an active member of the University Honors Program and a Dean’s Scholar for the College of Communications.

 

Amanda describes herself as a “meme queen” and likes to keep up on the latest trends in internet and pop culture. That being said, Amanda is an unabashed fan of the 2015 Super Bowl halftime show sharks, her devotion validated by having her left shark-themed graduation cap featured in a Mashable and BuzzFeed article.

CSUF PRSSA Attends V.I.P. Tour Aboard Navy Ship During L.A. Fleet Week

Members Received Exclusive Access During Biggest Fleet Week in the Nation

 

FULLERTON, Calif. (September 2017) – California State University, Fullerton’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) hosted a V.I.P. tour aboard the USS Anchorage (LPD-23) during the 2nd Annual L.A. Fleet Week in San Pedro, Los Angeles on September 3, 2017. The exclusive opportunity was set up by US Navy Reserve Public Affairs Officer and new PRSSA Faculty Adviser, Ken Hagihara.

 

“Having active Navy ships at the Port for Los Angeles Navy Week provided a rare opportunity to bring the students onboard for a special tour to learn about the Navy and interact with the sailors that live and work aboard USS Anchorage as it travels around the world in support of our country and its allies,” explained Hagihara who has served in the Navy for nine years and has just been selected for promotion to Lieutenant Commander. “The tour was designed to show the group a different side of the field of public relations that many people do not often see.”

 

While on board the group had the ability to see first-hand how Navy ships work and how their sailors operate day-to-day on an active military vessel. The fortunate attendees witnessed parts of the USS Anchorage that the public doesn’t normally see, including the bridge, where members got the chance to sit in Commanding Officer CAPT. Dennis Jacko‘s chair for a photo opp.

 

Of the 300,000 fleet-goers attending over the course of four days, PRSSA invitees were a few of a handful of lucky participants to gain access to the inside of the ship. Instead of the usual 20-minute public tour of the deck, PRSSA invitees found themselves within the amphibious transport dock for over an hour exploring different levels of the vessel.

 

The tour ended by giving the group a rare opportunity to speak with Lt. Cmdr. Dawn Stankus, a Navy Public Affairs Specialist, about what makes government affairs so different that public.  She offered some words of advice as well as support to all those interested in joining the field.

 

To participate in more opportunities like this, please visit www.csufprssa.org to find out about other tours, upcoming events, and how to become a member or sponsor.

 

About Public Relations Student Society of America at CSUF:

The Public Relations Student Society of America at California State University, Fullerton is the premier organization for students to jump-start their career in communications and public relations. PRSSA retains the highest membership of all PRSSA chapters on the West Coast and is the largest on-campus student-run communication organization. PRSSA exposes our members to all facets and intricacies of the public relations profession across the spectrum by providing speaker events, career tours, mixers and more. PRSSA is the only organization affiliated with a professional chapter and is the only on-campus firm to offer a student-run public relations firm that exposes students to real-world opportunities such as a social media management, red carpets, writing and more.

 

Media Contact: csufprssa@gmail.com

Writer: Arianna Ford

 

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Five Unforgettable Lessons I Learned from PRSSA

By Jessica Pineda

 

Getting involved in CSUF PRSSA was the best investment I made to prepare for a career in communications. Two years later, the skills I developed and people I met from PRSSA have helped me create media magic at a prominent entertainment brand in my first post-graduation role and work on campaigns in my current position at a leading global communications marketing firm.

 

While I learned a lot during my time in PRSSA, these lessons were among my most notable takeaways, which continue to make a large impact in my professional journey:

 

Great things never came from comfort zones.

The concept of networking seemed intimidating at first, but PRSSA helped it become second nature. Leading up to my first mixer with our PRSA Parent Chapter, I ramped up my confidence by introducing myself to fellow Chapter members and guest speakers, who are more than happy to chat. Over time, I gained the courage to attend a professional networking event alone, which eventually led to an internship opportunity.

 

Define your personal brand.

My first set of business cards arrived a week before I left for PRSSA National Conference. Among all the inspiring lessons and panels, my biggest key learning was the importance of developing a personal brand and “elevator pitch.” They came in handy when introducing myself to attendees and reps from top agencies/employers.

 

It’s a small world after all.

At its core, public relations is about building meaningful relationships – not only with press but clients, peers and mentors too – which naturally makes the professional community very close-knit. I was surprised to learn that my leaders from two separate internships knew each other. Not to mention, our CSUF PRSSA alumni network spans across country and a variety of industries (not all of us pursue media relations!).

 

You get out of it what you put into it.

Preface: This goes for any organization or anything in life, honestly.

 

Having “PRSSA Member” on a resume may capture attention, but the real value comes from investment. The membership itself didn’t make the difference on my applications – what I learned from participating in events, networking and serving on the Executive Board did. Some members said they didn’t have the time, but there are countless opportunities to get involved and carving just 30 minutes to connect with someone new adds to the experience.

 

It all works out in the end.

It was inevitable; the “What am I going to do after graduation?!” crisis was in full swing during my last semester at CSUF. Thankfully, our Chapter advisers, professors and past members were wonderful mentors, reviewing my resume and sharing helpful advice, during the senior year job scramble. Going through the process with fellow members also made it significantly less daunting.

 

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About Jessica Pineda
Twitter: @jesipineda | LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/pinedaj/
Jessica Pineda is a communications marketing professional, currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area and working in technology public relations at Edelman. She graduated from the CSUF College of Communications in 2015 and served as the Publicity Director for Cal State Fullerton PRSSA during her senior year. After graduation, she completed a year-long PR internship at the Disneyland Resort. When she isn’t brainstorming story angles, Jessica is likely to be found taking photos wherever she goes.