Picture your final days before graduating from college.
Besides taking finals or finishing up any last-minute projects, what were you thinking about? Many would say it’s summer plans, maybe a vacation, even just a night hanging out with friends not sharing lecture notes, Google slide templates, or margin sizes (it’s 1.5 inches by the way) would be amazing.
For a select few, the waning days of the semester are ample time to line up internships, build their network, and seek out employment opportunities to launch their career. Thursday night, Oakland University’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and the American Marketing Association (AMA) Student Chapter, co-sponsored their annual Mocktail event for just those reasons.
Held in the Founder’s Ballroom at the Oakland Center on Oakland University’s campus, the event was an opportunity for students majoring in PR, Marketing, Communications, Journalism, Graphic Design, and even Accounting/Finance to meet with practicing professionals from Washtenaw, Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland counties.
After brief introductions by the student presidents representing the two organizations and a wonderful welcome from Dr. Chiaoning Su, assistant professor and PRSSA faculty adviser at Oakland University, the “speed dating” question section began.
Students moved around the room every 5-minutes, asking questions of the professionals about their career journey, tips for students looking to break into the industry, and suggestions they (the professionals) wish they had heard coming out of college.
Once the nine rounds concluded, students were encouraged to go back to speak with professionals they felt they connected with or wanted to hear more about. Some students asked for business cards, handed out resumes, and showed off their portfolios for feedback. Taking the time to answer questions and really listen to the students was extremely important.
These soon-to-be professionals need encouragement, guidance, and someone who has been in their shoes to help them avoid pitfalls and achieve success.
Building upon this pipeline of talent from college chapters to professional chapters, like AMA Detroit, is extremely beneficial to both parties. Events and opportunities where students and professionals can mingle and mix allow for a smooth transition to the professional chapter. Even if students move to a new town, if they have experience engaging with AMA, they can find a local chapter to continue their own professional growth.
Including collegiate chapters in programming and assisting them in their requests for mentors, judges, sounding boards, and networking participants can only strengthen AMA chapters and continue to grow its members in the future.
So be on the lookout for ways you as an AMA member or advocate can interact with collegiate chapters and students who participate.
I’ll cheers to that.