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PRSSA converges at “The Loop: Divergent”

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The UW Oshkosh Public Relations Student Society of America chapter learned what it takes to work in PR from professionals in the field at a conference in Chicago.

The PRSSA chapters of Loyola University and Columbia College of Chicago hosted the conference called, “The Loop: Divergent” on March 20 to 21 based on the book series.

At The Loop, participants were exposed to several different PR topics including fashion, entertainment, non-profit, social media and special events.

Maureen Bausch, CEO of the 2018 Super Bowl, was one of the keynote speakers at the conference.

PRSSA member Sam Broughton said Bausch went from a marketing representative at a local grocery store to the executive vice president of business development for the Mall of America and is now the CEO of the Super Bowl.

“Hearing stories like these is really cool, and having the opportunity to speak to them afterwards is an awesome perk to attending these conferences,” Broughton said.

Broughton said as a student, it gave him a better understanding of where he is to go with his post-college career.

PRSSA President Isaac Haight said Bausch provided a lot of insight into her profession and career path.

“She also touched on the operations and opportunities that come along with planning for and hosting a successful event,” Haight said.

Haight said PRSSA conferences offer great opportunities for members to network with peers from other colleges and other professionals.

“It also gives members the chance to ask established professionals questions regarding anything about the field,” Haight said. “As a chapter, attending regional conference is a great way to continue learning and enhancing our chapter and maintaining the reputation of one of the best small-school chapters.”

PRSSA member Zak Thompson said the conference helped him better understand the types of jobs that are available in the PR field and what executives are looking for in young employees.

“Personally, I have a better understanding of the field and what it takes to get hired at an agency,” Thompson said. “Having great communication skills, a proactive attitude and a good work ethic will greatly help you on your career path.”

Thompson said the speakers talked about day-to-day life in agency and corporate settings, how they got their start in the field and how young professionals can determine which area in PR fits them best.

PRSSA member Vanessa Benavidez said the conference helped her better understand what PR professionals do through various breakout sessions.

“We had people speak to us who have worked in the PR field for many years and are very much respected in the industry,” Benavidez said.

Benavidez said there were various speakers from different fields including advertising, non-profits and agencies who explained the difference between each sector.

“I really liked how every speaker encouraged the students there to strive and work hard to make the best of our careers,” Benavidez said.

Benavidez said it was nice to hear success stories from professionals as she is a senior approaching graduation.

“I think that it made me realize that my career won’t kick off come May,” Benavidez said. “But if I push myself to the limit I can become the professional I hope and strive to be.”

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
PRSSA converges at “The Loop: Divergent”