by Haylie Schmoll '19
If you asked me where I thought I would be in life a year ago, I never would have imagined being where I am today. As I stepped foot on Otterbein’s campus, I thought I had my whole life planned out. I was going to change lives, actually, save lives. I was going to be a nurse. My life was pretty much written in stone… or so I thought.
As a child, community service was what defined me. I loved helping people. I felt like my life changed as much as the lives of those I was helping along the way. I wanted my community service to be a career. As many kids do when they want to help people, I decided that I wanted to be a nurse.
Coming to college with blinders on, I never imagined myself in any other field of study. To be honest, I didn’t even know that several other majors even existed. As a first year student, I put undue pressure on myself to know everything and to have everything figured out. The undue pressure made me realize that I overlooked opportunities in front of me that would help create my future path.
I joined many organizations that allowed me to explore topics outside of my major like policy, advocacy, healthcare and community engagement. My involvement and courage to step out of my comfort zone allowed me to meet some amazing individuals who made me realize that it is possible to have a career that helps people, other than nursing, and make a living out of it. As I connected with professionals that pointed me in new directions, I revaluated what truly made me tick when it came to my future career.
I discovered that to be happy, I needed to combine my head with my heart. I have been blessed with skills of leadership, organization, event planning, and communication along with a heart for people. If I can find a way to combine these blessings to create a unique combination, I can do great things. I took a risk and switched my major to Public Relations and Communications. When I did this, I started to discover careers that I never even knew existed!
I quickly became immersed in the culture of communication and have been blessed with many opportunities. From meeting with my advisors, to conducting informal interviews with professionals in the field, to hearing great speakers at PRSSA meetings I have learned so much. I immediately wanted to get hands on experience and I am currently in my third internship and loving every minute of it.
I do not know where I will end up on this path, but I do know some things for sure. I want my life (every part of it) to inspire others to find their passion and go out and make a difference for what matters most to them. If we all do that, we WILL change the world and will be happier doing it! I want my success to be measured by the number of lives I touch instead of the amount of money in my bank account. I know if I continue to follow my passion, it will lead me to my purpose! When I find it, I will fix it!!! I am just getting started!
by Emily Dawson '19
Changing your major in the middle of the school year is never easy. I switched to public relations in the middle of my freshman year. I wanted to do anything I could that would help make me a successful public relations professional one day. I heard about PRSSA and decided to attend a meeting just to see what it was about. I soon found myself going to every meeting and learning so much while I was there. I ended up becoming the treasurer of PRSSA and have benefited so much from my time in PRSSA.
PRSSA opens up so many opportunities for internships and jobs. Every month PRSSA hosts a guest speaker. These speakers are always willing to talk with students after the meeting and give out their business cards. These networking opportunities are right in front of you and can open the doors for your future. There are also various conferences you can attend to learn more about public relations. These conferences are also a great way to network and meet professionals in the industry.
PRSSA has been so beneficial to me. I have had the opportunity to network with professionals, attend conferences, build my resume, learn more about public relations and make friends. I have personally gained so much from this organization and I will forever be indebted to all that it has given me.