Why Conferences Are Important

By attending PR Advanced a few weekends ago, I was able to gain insights from amazing guest speakers, network with people in the PR field–as well as students going into it–and learn from PR professionals who have jobs that they’ve always dreamed of. I found the conference to be informative, helpful, and inspiring as someone majoring in PR and hoping to enter into the field. There were a few things I picked up that I could have only gotten from a conference…

1. Guest Speakers. Conferences are a place where you can hear from professionals that may be doing what you want to do in the future. Hearing them speak gives you insight into their careers and even allows you to ask them specific questions, getting a personal response. It’s not every day you get to hear Dean Elmore talk about Public Enemy, pop culture, and social media, then go to a panel to see Tom O’Keefe (BostonTweet) and Joselin Mane (BostonTweetup) talk about having an influential online presence and succeeding via Twitter.

2. Networking and new people. Sure, being thrown into a room with other PR students and professionals who may be able to offer you a job or internship is intimidating. It’s hard to decide what to say when you’re networking, or even just speaking, with people you don’t know. Through the conference I was able to connect with other students in the Boston area who were majoring in PR or marketing, and see what experiences they’ve had as far as classes and internships. The career fair also gave everyone a chance to find companies hiring in the area, letting us talk to professionals one-on-one and get their contact information for future jobs and internships. At all of the panels there was a chance to ask the panelists questions about their careers, providing personal insight from successful professionals in the field.

3. Inspiration. The career panel was a highlight of the conference for me because it allowed me to see professionals in the field that I want to go into. Hearing their stories of failing, succeeding, networking, and eventually getting their dream jobs was encouraging. In addition to talking about their specific work experiences, they advised us overall to be ourselves. If you know what you want and don’t accept anything less, it is possible to land your dream job. Once you are there, after a while it won’t feel like work, and you will be able to be yourself and enjoy every day you spend there. Hearing and seeing the panelists firsthand definitely inspired me to strive for my dream job in the PR field, and be myself while doing it.

As Joselin Mane said at the Boston Twitter Stars panel, it’s important to go to events and try new things. Events allow you to network and meet people you normally wouldn’t, as well as getting personal advice and inspiration from professionals who do what you want to do. After attending the conference, I look forward to future PR conferences, as well as my own future in PR.

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