By Allie Erenbaum, Co-chair of PRSA-NCC’s University Relations Committee
Every young professional knows the value of strong and compassionate mentorship. When I was studying PR and marketing at American University, I made an effort to actively facilitate conversations with my peers, professors, and internship supervisors. From making decisions about what classes to register for to deciding what job applications to pursue, I appreciated being able to gain a wide variety of perspectives to make informed decisions about my career. I knew I didn’t want to lose momentum with building connections after graduation – that’s where PRSA-NCC came in.
As the Co-chair of PRSA-NCC’s University Relations Committee, I am now able to continue collaborating with others. Only this time, I’m on the other side. Through engaging with PRSSA members across the DMV, I’ve been able to serve as a mentor to students looking to jumpstart their career in communications. I’ve been able to highlight my journey from traditional media relations to consulting, engage students at professional development events, and offer insight into the highs and lows of landing a first job out of college. I love listening to students’ goals and brainstorming tactics to make them a reality. Although students may look to me for advice, I often walk away from conversations with new ideas that I apply in my own career.
Through attending PRSA-NCC board meetings and other committee events, I’ve been able to advocate for new ways to reach students. I’ve encouraged PRSA-NCC members to consider how they can get involved in coaching students. My role within the chapter has allowed me to constantly consider new ways to deepen my involvement, and I feel more connected to the PR community at large. While empathetic mentoring does require time, it can go a long way – one phone call, one coffee date, and one networking session can make a tangible difference.