PPRA’s Careers 101: Is it Worth It?

Short answer: Yes. Long answer? Keep reading!

First off, you should know that PPRA stands for Philadelphia Public Relations Association, and that it is the oldest and largest independent public relations association in the country. And to put that into perspective, this year is their 70th anniversary!

Secondly, Careers 101 is an annual event that PPRA puts on to bring together students and professionals for a night of networking and learning. For all us PR students out there, this event will get you a resume critique, professional head shot, networking opportunities and raffle chances for shadowing days and informational interviews…all in ONE NIGHT. I’ve never even been before but I can tell you all that is worth it. This year it’s on April 1 (this Wednesday night!) and the theme is ‘Your Career is No Joke.’ (Get it!?)

But, to make it even better, this is Careers 101’s 10th anniversary, so in honor of that and PPRA’s 70th birthday, all the panelists are PPRA Hall of Fame recipients and/or past PPRA Presidents. And hopefully you will understand that to be in one or both of those categories makes you the best of the best – and worth hearing from. During Careers 101, for about an hour, six of Philly PR’s best will be sharing their unique and experienced insights about the industry and how they went from a PR student to a PR leader. The moderator is David W. Brown, who was the 2007 Hall of Fame recipient. The five panelists are Bill Cowen, President of Metrospective Communications LLC; Bonnie Grant, Executive Director of Greater Philadelphia Life Sciences Congress; Catherine Engel Menendez, Communications Director of PECO; Lisa Simon, President of Simon PR; and Mark Tarasiewicz, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Mark, Lisa and Catherine are also all Hall of Fame recipients.

And as if all that wasn’t enough, anyone that goes this year will get a free professional head shot! I know I need one, I’m still using a picture from three years ago. A little more detail on the other benefits you get from attending: PPRA leadership will edit and critique all the resumes dropped off into the box during the event – and you’ll get your edited resume back at the end of the night. This is such an easy way to get professional advice on that resume that’s always going to be one of the first things your potential employer sees about you. You’ll also be entered into a raffle to win one of many opportunities to shadow a PR professional or get an informational interview with them. I know that it is awkward enough reaching out to people you don’t know for such an opportunity – this way it’s all done for you and the awkwardness is gone! I’ve had four informational interviews in the last two years, which have led me to my current internship and (hopefully) next one! Plus, you get connected to another PR pro, and in PR, it’s often all about who you know.

I know that in the last few months we have been inundated with networking event after networking event (especially at Temple) but I really do believe this one is worth it. I first heard about Careers 101 last summer, and even though I haven’t been before, I got on the planning committee for it because I really believe it to be one of the most beneficial events to students of the year. Here is a link to the official Careers 101 page, and below are some more logistical details.

Careers 101 will be on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 from 6 – 8 p.m. at The Liacouras Center – Fox-Gittis Room. It costs $20 to attend, unless you are a member of PRowl Public Relations – in which case please email me asap if you want to go at faiz.mandviwalla@temple.edu.

Hope to see you all there!

This post was authored by Faiz Mandviwalla, a junior at Temple University and the Director of Finance for PRowl Public Relations. You can connect with him on Twitter here

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