PRSSA provides glance at professional world

GVL / Courtesy Kelsey Manas

GVL / Courtesy Kelsey Manas

Rachel Huck

Grand Valley State University provides its students with 7,500 employment and internship opportunities. The Public Relations Student Society of America is one of the many programs at GVSU that seeks to prepare both undergraduate and graduate students for their future careers.

President of GVSU’s chapter of PRSSA Kelsey Manas said the organization provides members with internship, volunteering, educational and job opportunities.

“Many members receive internships through their network in PRSSA,” Manas said. “It offers students a chance to lead as young professionals and to refine their resume with various experiences.”

One of the main goals of PRSSA is to prepare students for the working world. Meeting topics range from resume and interview skills to media pitching.

“All workshops or educational meetings are hosted by professionals from the field who have experienced PR firsthand,” she said. “Meetings offer advice for each level of a student’s career in a personal and intimate setting.”

Introduced to GVSU in 2005, PRSSA aims to provide students with skills and experiences that can assist them throughout their education and career.

“In addition to meetings, members are able to attend agency tours in Chicago, Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids,” Manas said. “These tours are designed to teach young PR professionals more about the industry through facility tours, client reviews and advice for the future. The agency tours give students a glimpse into the real world.”

PRSSA’s focus isn’t solely on Public Relations majors. The organization, whose GVSU chapter includes 75 members, also seeks to benefit students majoring in advertising, health communication and hospitality and tourism management.

“We also provide volunteer and fundraising opportunities for those interested in getting involved in the community,” Manas said.

PRSSA includes over 10,000 members and has chapters at more than 300 college campuses across the country.

Joan Giffels, vice president of public relations in PRSSA, said being successful in the world of PR is all about knowing the right people. The organization seeks to introduce and help students network with professionals.

“Meetings and events provide that opportunity for members to walk up to prominent local professionals and introduce themselves, because in the real world, those interactions are what make the difference,” Giffels said.

She added that while employers are impressed by students who take the initiative to join student organizations, it’s even more impressive when the organization is relevant to the major at hand.

“Everything we do is done with our members’ individual professional development in mind,” Giffels said. “PRSSA exists solely for its members.”

For more information on the GVSU chapter of PRSSA, visit

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