Graduation is in Full Swing. Time to Celebrate!
By Minnesota PRSA Admin
Many of us know someone who is embarking on their first career or will be heading to college or trade schools to further their education. For me, it’s my son, who recently completed his Bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas. While it’s been many years since I graduated, I still remember how I felt; I was excited yet apprehensive, and I hoped there would be professionals willing to take me under their wings.
Fortunately, I had many great mentors in my journey, so I’ve always tried to pay it forward. Whether it’s advising students or helping professionals achieve their accreditation in public relations (APR), these experiences have provided me with some of the most rewarding memories in my career. One of my fondest memories is working alongside University of Minnesota students to create a PR campaign that successfully secured funding for a $45 million student union renovation. They can do remarkable things.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to mentor students, or it’s been a while, I highly recommend it – for your growth, too! Mentorship opportunities are all around us. Check out programs at your workplace, be a PRSSA professional advisor, speak to college classes, or get involved with the ThreeSixty Journalism program.
Of course, financing college is very challenging these days. For college students interested in a career in public relations, many scholarships exist through the PRSA Foundation (for both PRSSA members and all students). The PRSA Diversity Multicultural Scholarship was established in 1989 by PRSA’s Multicultural Affairs Committee to recognize outstanding academic achievement and commitment to the practice of public relations. In 2020, Minnesota PRSA collaborated with PRSA's national diversity and inclusion leadership to establish the National Multicultural Endowment Scholarship Fund with a donation of $2,500. And two very deserving students – Peyton Buerman from Saint Mary's University and Rachel Klinkner from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire – recently received our chapter’s Dr. Willard Thompson scholarships at our annual Classics event. Congratulations! There are many other scholarships available through colleges or specific university departments. Please encourage the students in your life to apply!
I’m a country music fan, so during this time of year Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind” song always comes to mind. It ends with the lyrics, “When you get where you‘re goin’, don’t forget, turn back around and help the next one in line.” Let’s all remember what it felt like to be starting out and set a goal to help someone get their PR career off to a successful start or advance their career. Our profession will be stronger for it.
Karen Lyons, APR
Minnesota PRSA Board Member