In the world of public relations, more and more emphasis is being placed on diversity in both the organizational and personal setting. In college, that means taking more than just some random elective or going to the museum every now and then. It means getting involved in extracurricular activities on campus that widen the scope of your interests. The most unexpected club or organization could lead to success later in life.
For example, I joined Model United Nations (Model UN). This group is essentially a simulation of political bodies. It doesn’t always have to be a UN committee that you’re simulating, though. I’ve seen terrorist organizations, national cabinets and consulting firms—even the Board of Directors for Google— simulated as committees. In order to compete and succeed in Model UN, you need to know how to win over your fellow competitors to get them to work with you on passing resolutions. In short, you need to learn how to network. You also need to prove that you’re a person that people want to work with by making passionate and convincing speeches on the topic of discussion. Not everyone can elicit an emotional response to the Eurozone crisis, but I’ve seen it done. When staffing a conference, you quickly must learn how to command the respect of a room full of your peers. In crisis committees you must learn to adapt quickly to a multitude of situations and guide your committee in the direction you believe is best for them.
So without even knowing it, I was learning some of the fundamental components of being a good PR practitioner. I can now network efficiently, speak confidently in front of others and communicate my ideas in a way that will advance my goals. This is what happens when you branch out and join new clubs in college. However, the important thing to keep in mind is that you want to expand your horizons and do it with activities that interest you. I’m also a Political Science major, so Model UN was a natural fit. To the PR student interested in medical communications, Peer Health Exchange might be a nice choice. Not only do you expand your mind, but you might unknowingly expand your resume as well. So, in short, never discount an organization or club that may not seem to fit you as well as you’d expect it to. Because maybe you fit it better than you think.