By: Erin Flory
At Michigan State University, there are over 900 registered student organizations to join. During freshman orientation, students are advised to join two organizations during their time at MSU: one relating to their major and one relating to their interests. For new Public Relations Majors, there are plenty of major-related clubs to choose from, including Public Relations Student Society of America, VIM Magazine and TEDxMSU.
Public relation students gain experience and knowledge in the classroom to put into action in their careers. Just as students gain experiential hours through the PR Field Experience Program, it is important students continue to learn outside of the classroom. Major-related student organizations allow students to do this by participating in general meetings and events held throughout the year. Within all organizations, there is a chance for students to be a part of the executive leadership board or members of teams and sub-committees where they may fill specific roles that can supplement their future careers.
MSU’s Ned S. Hubbell Chapter of the PRSSA enhances members’ knowledge of public relations and offers connections to professional development opportunities. There are over 300 chapters throughout the United States. Caitlin Finerty, a junior majoring in public relations serves on MSU’s 2021-2022 e-board as director of events and alumni relations, which means she reaches out to alumni and PR professionals to speak at events she organizes. Finerty says this role has given her experience extending communication to people she has never met — giving her the opportunity to build connections as part of her own professional network. She says being a part of the organization has allowed her to learn from other students, network and practice leadership skills.
Maria Laskowski, a junior PR Major, serves as new member coordinator for Zeta Tau Alpha. Her position involves educating and managing over 50 new members. Laskowski says serving on executive council with 13 other women allowed her to gain valuable team management skills in addition to leadership experience. This position not only enhances her resume as she begins internship and job searches, but it has also prepped her with tools for future job requirements – from practicing speaking in front of large groups to communicating using different forms of media. Although her involvement in this organization is unrelated to her major, she says it has given her valuable lessons to take with her as she navigates her time at MSU.
Being involved in both major- and non-major specific clubs allow students to grow as individuals and professionals. To find an organization that complements your campus or future career, visit https://msu.campuslabs.com/engage/organizations, then use the search engine to refine organizations based on passions or interests. Within a few clicks, you can find the best student organization for you!