Niagara University’s Public Relations Student Society (PRSSN), hosted their first ever communications and marketing “Meet the PRofessionals Night” on April 5. Thirteen professionals attended to speak with students about their careers, give advice, and offer connections to jump-start their future.
“This event is a great opportunity to get students out of their comfort zone by networking with professionals,” said Jennifer Gallo, the president of PRSSN. “These connections could really help them in the future.”
Students and professors mingle with the professionals. (From left to right: Samantha Martineau, Dominic Hannon, Joseph M. Sirianni, Lana Perlman, and Angela Berti)
Many of the students and PRSSN club members were there to mingle with the professionals and get their name out there, including a freshman student named Michael Pearl, who came prepared with his own résumé and business cards.
“I really learned a lot tonight about careers in PR [public relations] and marketing, especially PR,” said Pearl. “I got to meet people who I didn’t even know had jobs in the area.”
Pearl met with Dan Aikin, director of communications and special events for Senator Ranzenhofer. Pearl intends to apply for an internship to work with Aikin, just as many of the other students are planning, now that they have this new opportunity. Matt Vizzi, a communication studies major, took advantage of a unique opportunity offered by Allison Boynton of the Seneca Niagara Casino to be a model for an upcoming advertising campaign.
But, the professionals had more to offer than just potential internships and gigs. They also gave helpful advice.
Brook D’Angelo, the mastermind behind the “Totes McGoats” mascot for Niagara Falls’ Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Team (S.W.E.E.T), said professionals in the field should be able to roll with whatever happens, be willing to work for free, don’t be afraid to badger people for a response and network, network, network.
Many of the other professionals had similar advice, offering tips such as don’t be shy, do what you have a passion in, work hard, and try to get as much experience as you can. This guidance was surely taken to heart by all who attended.
The event was a huge success with a great turn out. Dr. Joseph Sirianni, communication studies assistant professor and PRSSN advisor, and Michael Freedman, the associate public relations director for Niagara University and PRSSN advisor, both had a big part in making the event happen by utilizing their resources to ask the professionals to come to the event.
“It looked like it was a very successful night and it looked like everyone was engaged,” Sirianni said after the event. “Overall it went really well, and I look forward to holding it again next year!”
-Article by Jade King, Photos by Emily Kernin, PRSSN