SMSC students dive into public relations industry through club

 Public Relations Student Society of America is a recognized student organization that focuses on public relations in America. Graduates from Oklahoma State University can retain membership to the professional organization.

The PRSSA club at OSU meets twice a month at 5:30 p.m. in room 208 of the Paul Miller Journalism Building. Next semester’s club meetings will be held every other week.

PRSSA has greatly impacted Madison Schein and Mark Slette. Madison is the current president of the club, and Mark is the former president.

“PRSSA is a huge networking opportunity,” Madison said. “Being a part of this club is giving me a push into my future career.”

The club has helped Madison define public relations. She realized she can apply communications to anything she’s passionate about, and figure out how she wants to make a career out of it.

“I’m a huge tree hugger,” Madison said. “Working for Tesla is my dream job.”

Mark decided to join his sophomore year because he wanted to be involved in The School of Media & Strategic Communications. He thought joining a club that related to his major would be the best way to get involved.

“I thought PRSSA was a perfect avenue,” Mark said. “Not only for my education, but I think it helps me with networking, and it’s a great career building experience.”

Mark has met and received advice from many SMSC undergraduate students in the club. He also has received a great amount of guidance from the club’s faculty adviser, Dr. Danny Shipka.

Shipka has multiple degrees in communications and a master’s degree in international studies; Shipka was the obvious choice for the PRSSA adviser position.

“I was chosen to be the adviser for the club by the previous director,” Shipka said. “I love it because I think it’s a great organization.”

When Shipka started his Ph.D. in mass communications at the University of Florida, his professors told him that he would be doing public relations work. He was confused as to how that would pertain to his degree, but as he started to read the material, he realized he had been practicing public relations work his entire academic career.

“I could do this in my sleep,” Shipka said.

Shipka’s wisdom has transcended to members of the club. The club has taught Madison and Mark how to better communicate and revealed the creative side of communications.

PRSSA showed Madison there are many paths she can take after graduation. The road is open, and the doors to opportunities are endless.

“You can choose your path and still have a successful career,” Madison said. “I think that’s important to keep in the back of your mind.”