- What made you want this position?
Originally, I was going to run for a different position, but after being approached by the outgoing president about running for vice president, I changed my mind. I thought that I was not qualified to be VP, but she convinced me otherwise. I am so glad I listened to her!
- What is the most demanding part of the position? What has been the most rewarding part of your position?
The most demanding part of my job is planning all the meetings. I am responsible for finding speakers and organizing nearly everything that happens during a meeting. This has also been the most rewarding part of my job, though, because I have expanded my network, and I am no longer afraid to reach out to someone I do not know. Many times, I have to email a professional who does not know me personally to ask them to speak at the meetings. Most of the time, they say yes! This has given me confidence in talking to new people.
- Do you intend to go for a position similar to this when you enter the industry?
One of my duties as VP is the chair the professional development committee, which plans the annual Business Banquet. I do intend to plan some events in the future, so being a chair of this committee has taught me about delegation and general event planning. Overall, I’ve learned more about leadership in general, which is always applicable to any job.
- If you could get members to describe your time in this position in one word, what would you want that word be?
- Walk us through a day in the life of your position
Every day is different! Most days I do not do any PRSSA work. Other than answering and sending emails, most of my work is done at the beginning of each semester. President Tara Hebert and I sat down and planned the days and themes of each meeting for the semester. We brainstorm different workshop and speaker ideas. Then, I reach out to those speakers and plan the meetings. I keep Tara updated about my progress, and answer any questions the speakers may have. After the meetings, I write and send thank you notes.
- What would you say to anyone who wanted to run for this position?
Being VP is NOT as daunting as you may think it is. Anyone with good digital communication skills (read: email) looking to become a better leader should consider running for VP.
- Being a graduate student and a member of the executive board, what has this position taught you about time management? What was different about PRSSA as an undergrad compared to being a graduate student?
To be quite honest, I was more stressed during my undergraduate years than now. That might be because I am better managing my time, but it also might be because you only have to take nine hours to be considered full-time in grad school. I am also involved in less extracurricular activities now than in undergrad. My average week looks like this: I go to class for nine hours, work in my office hours for my graduate assistantship for 20 hours, answer emails about PRSSA, and do homework and spend time with friends. While I only go to school for nine hours, I have a lot more homework and reading now than in undergrad. We have to read hundreds of pages each week for class, but no one expects you to read every word on every page of every article. The No. 1 skill I have learned in grad school is skimming! I take lots of notes, and still retain the most important information. As for PRSSA, I only really got involved once I got into graduate school. Before I ran for office, I only came to general meetings. Now, as VP, I go to socials and other events, and have gotten a lot more out of my PRSSA experience. PRSSA is now one of my only extracurricular activities, so I’m able to dedicate a lot more time to the organization.
- Any last thoughts?
As the saying goes, you get what you put into PRSSA. I learned from past speakers, but I only truly appreciated what PRSSA is once I ran for office. I highly encourage anyone interested in learning more about leadership or public relations to run for e-board! Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or hit my up on Twitter (@daniellenkelley) with any questions you might have about being VP!