PRSSA National Conference is a Learning Experience

By Mika Rawson, University of Hawaii Senior

The 2017 Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) National Conference in Boston was an amazing opportunity to meet new people and learn more about the field. I was able to attend with other University of Hawaii PRSSA Chapter members Kayla Scotka and Brandon Mitsunaga.  

Photo (Left to Right): PRSSA members Kayla Scotka, Brandon Mitsunaga and Mika Rawson attended the 2017 PRSSA National Conference in Boston, Ma.

The biggest piece of advice that resonated with me was what Morgan Spurlock said during his presentation at the PRSA General Session — “Take risks.” I took a risk attending the national conference because I knew that without significant financial assistance, the 2017 PRSSA National Conference would not be a reality for me. However, I was confident in my ability to make it work and to find enough scholarships to cover my trip. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my professor, academic advisor, and PRSSA advisor, Dr. Ji Young Kim and my PRSSA professional advisor, Amy Hennessey, APR. Without their dedication to our education, this trip may not have been possible for the three of us who attended. If I am willing to take risks to achieve something great, there will be people who believe in me enough willing to help.

Attending PRSSA National Conference has also helped to reinforce the theories and concepts I learned in the classroom. I was able to attend the seminar, “Let’s Get Ethical” with Donald K. Wright and Raymond Kotcher, both professors at Boston University. With the concepts of ethics that were reinforced at the seminar, I was able to share my knowledge with my PRSSA members by having an ethics workshop during one of our meetings. I gave two different scenarios and asked everyone to have a discussion about what might be the most ethical solution to the problems. I felt accomplished when the discussions become lively and everyone really enjoyed the activity.

Last but not least, I learned the importance of continuing my education and to eventually be a part of the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) program. Before attending the conference, I had no idea such a program existed, but now I feel inspired to get accredited myself when I join the field and become a member of PRSA. I want to be able to make the most ethical and professional decisions for the company or agency I will work for in the future. It’s unbelievable how much I learned about the field in just five days in Boston, but I am eternally grateful. Mahalo to PRSA Hawaii for your support of our trip.

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