Senior Spotlight: Next Steps for PR Director, Rachael Jones
by: Mia Bonfiglio
In 2018, current Public Relations Director for PRSSA, Rachael Jones, was a freshman who struggled to provide a definition for public relations. Four years later, she is serving on the executive board for the second year and has vastly evolved her skills through her involvement in the organization.
Jones explained that “PRSSA has definitely been the best source of professional development” throughout her time at UGA. She “made so many connections and friends through the organization” and the club contributed to much of her experience within the field. From bonding with other E-board members to hearing from different industry professionals, PRSSA is an experience that is unlike many others. PRSSA is a chance to connect with your peers who are interested in the same field as well as connect with industry professionals.
Jones graduated last December with a public relations degree as well as an English degree and is currently pursuing her master’s through the Double Dawgs pathway in Integrated Advertising and Public Relations. She will be completing this additional degree in the upcoming fall. “I’m sad to say goodbye to a lot of my friends who are moving on after graduation, but I am thrilled I get to spend a little bit more time in Athens while getting my master’s,” Jones said. We are glad to have her for an extra semester too!
When asked about the most valuable experience she gained from PRSSA, she explained that it was through industry speakers, peer networking and professional development that enhanced her knowledge about the industry. Jones credits most of her job and internship experience to PRSSA and was able to expand her portfolio of writing and graphic design samples from her experience in the club as well. Joining on campus organizations is a great way to boost your resume and involvement while also gaining real-life experience that can be applied to future jobs and internships.
She recommends that underclassmen get involved in a PRSSA committee and stick with it. She started as a member of the public relations committee, before moving up to her current position as Public Relations Director. She has served as the PR Director for two consecutive years. Being involved in an organization for many years is a great way to really watch the organization grow and play a role in its success.
One final piece of advice that Jones gave was, “Don’t be afraid to raise your hand and ask questions, take notes and connect with speakers because you never know what connection could lead to an opportunity.” Many PRSSA members will connect with speakers on LinkedIn following a meeting and this is a great way to establish professional connections before entering the workforce.
Voting for our 2022-2023 Executive Board is now open! Be sure to check our Instagram bio and member GroupMe for a link to vote for these great candidates! Only paid PRSSA members can vote. Voting will close next Monday at midnight, so be sure to get your votes in by then.
Be sure to mark down next Tuesday, April 19, for our Sports PR meeting! This is our last meeting of the semester so make sure to come to Studio 100, in Grady, at 6:30 p.m. for this meeting. This is a meeting you DON’T want to miss. Vira Halim, a sports PR professional for the Miami Dolphins will be sharing more about her journey and experience in the sports PR industry. Headshots for paid members will be available for free from 5:30-7:30 and you can sign up for these at the link in our member only GroupMe. The new 2022-2023 executive board will be announced at this meeting as well. Make sure you make plans to attend in person, so you don’t miss out on these awesome opportunities!