If you did not attend the PRElevated Conference in Provo, UT last month, you missed out! The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Regional Conference was an experience full of networking, learning and great ideas. As future public relations professionals, the work environment seems exciting and full of challenges. The speakers at the conference all shared passion and knowledge, making the experience very memorable.
One of the highlights for me was listening to Patrick Hernandez, Regional Communications Manager at General Motors. Patrick graduated from Brigham Young University in 2011 and was an active student member of PRSSA. He shared four lessons for starting a career in public relations. They are:
Realize that as a new professional you do not know everything. There are many other graduates with similar resumes and experiences. Be humble and teachable by those in the field. He reminded us to always say thank you to those we meet. Say thank you for opportunities, for conversations and for use of professionals’ time.
Approach the world with curiosity. Be willing to dive in and learn new ideas while creating a career for yourself. Be curious and aware of trends in public relations. Be curious about brands, companies and human behavior.
Be willing to chase your dreams. Your dream job might become available in a city across the country. Be flexible as a young professional, in order to take advantage of the best opportunities. Be willing to move or try something different. You just might surprise yourself.
Last but not least, Hernandez said, “dare greatly.” Challenge norms and push boundaries. Always go beyond what is expected. Be willing to take risks and put yourself out there. Be brave and push yourself as a professional. Some campaigns work, some may not, but valuable knowledge is always gained.
Listening to Mr. Hernandez connect the dots of his career over the last few years was inspiring. He currently resides in Miami where he oversees communication in the southeast region for General Motors. His primary responsibilities are media relations, grassroots strategy and broadcast outreach, which include the recent rebranding and redefining movement for the company. His confidence and excitement were contagious to all in attendance. Overall, the conference was well planned, well executed and very educational. Our PRSSA peers at Utah Valley University did a fantastic job! I feel very lucky to have attended and look forward to my future career in public relations.