A PRSSA Student Recap: What I Learned from PRSA Colorado’s Shadow Day

    A PRSSA Student Recap: What I Learned from PRSA Colorado’s Shadow Day


    By Dorina Vida, PRSSA member at Colorado State University, double major in Journalism & Media Communications, and Sociology with a concentration in Criminal Justice and Criminology


    In all honesty, I never considered a career in PR before taking my Public and Media Relations class at Colorado State University; and I certainly never expected to seriously entertain the idea prior to attending PRSA Colorado’s Shadow Day. I had planned to get a little extra insight into public relations and how the profession interacts with journalists, as well as the handy extra credit offered to my class by my professor. So, while I got everything I expected from the experience, I also discovered something of greater value - the possibility of a future career in public relations.


    The shadow day started off with a luncheon and panel entitled “I Don’t Do PR Anymore.” The luncheon really brought to light the reality of modern public relations and how industry professionals wear the hats of multiple skill sets. From investigative reporting to marketing and branding, PR professionals are experts in communication who can do it all. This introduction into the many functions PR professionals serve caught my attention, as much of what a PR professional does today is what I would like to do in my career.


    After the luncheon, I shadowed Winna MacLaren, Public Relations Manager with Denver Public Schools. She was the perfect professional for me to shadow as she works within the public sector and I have a great interest in working for either government or a non-profit agency. By following Winna, I learned the multi-purpose function of PR, specifically in the public sector, and saw how her work impacts not only the organization, but also effects the public.


    PRSA’s Shadow Day gave me the insight I needed to better understand the type of career I’m looking for as well as the insight to what a career in public relations could look like. While I continue exploring public relations as a potential career, I will take my firsthand experience with me into my education and future career, wherever that may lead.

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