Niagara University on-campus job fair hosted by communication studies department, Public Relations Student Society of Niagara
By Brooke Powell
Photos by Emily Kernin
Both special to Niagara Frontier Publications
A few steps through the open doors into a tightly packed conference room led students who attended Niagara University's second annual "Meet the Professionals" night to many other doors full of opportunities.
The school's communication studies department and the Public Relations Student Society of Niagara (PRSSN), a campus club, sponsored a career recruitment event, which took place April 6. Mainly, the event allowed students, who particularly study communications or marketing, to network with employers and professionals who typically specialize in a field within the two degree areas.
"The 'Meet the Professionals' event is more personalized to specific majors," said Jennifer Gallo, president of PRSSN. "The best part is that students can get one-on-one time with professionals."
Last year, 10 employers were present at "Meet the Professionals." This year's event hosted 19 employers, including 107.7 FM, Community Missions, Gelia Marketing Communications, the office of New York State Sen. Michael H. Ranzenhofer, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Niagara Gazette, the Niagara Falls City School District, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and Niagara Frontier Publications.
Students agreed the event was important and helpful to those not only seeking out jobs and internships, but also for students who need professional advice or want to make more connections with real-world professionals.
"It makes you go out of your comfort zone and look forward to your future," said Shaina Pumputis, a junior communication studies major. "The focus on marketing and communications is very helpful for students in those areas of study."
Not only is the annual event helpful to students, but it's also assuring for professionals to seek out young adults who are preparing to enter the professional world.
"There's always a great mixture of individuals at these events," said Judie Glaser, public relations coordinator at the Niagara Falls City School District. "Whether that mixture be generational or multicultural, everyone has a unique set of skills that he or she brings to the table."
Along with free snacks and refreshments at the event, the professionals brought along free gifts for students who visited their tables. The free gifts were thoughtful, but the advice the professionals gave to students was the main takeaway.
"The advice I would give to young adults who are making their way into the professional world would be to learn how to communicate," said Angela Berti of State Parks. "Master communication, make eye contact, follow-up with people, and take new opportunities."
Along with PRSSN members who attended the event, "Meet the Professionals" drew in more students than the previous year. On-campus events like these are beneficial for students who attend. After all, one opportunity may lead to another.
Aside from "Meet the Professionals," PRSSN not only hosts events throughout the year, but also the club members participate within on-campus events hosted by other Niagara University clubs and organizations, as well as community events for profit and nonprofit organizations.
In the past, members of PRSSN participated in the Community Missions Walk for Niagara, donated to the Adopt-A-Family program run by Summit Life Center, assisted with a campaign project for Heart, Love & Soul Food Pantry, and were involved with many more campaigns and events that the club members not only participate in, but also promote on and off of campus.
PRSSN constantly accepts projects from profit and nonprofit organizations that seek out public relations assistance. The team of students within the club is tasked with projects, in order to learn how to apply public relations in a professional manner, while working with organizations in a career-oriented environment. PRSSN members work together as a team to make all of these projects accomplishable and worthwhile for both the students and the organizations.
Brooke Powell and Emily Kernin are members of the PRSSN.
Jennifer Gallo, president of PRSSN, stands with Dr. Joseph M. Sirianni, assistant professor in the department of communication studies and PRSSN adviser.
NU students David Yarger and James Burns speak with CNHI publisher Chris Voccio.
NU student Paige Mosley chats with Christian Hoffman, communications and development manager at Community Missions.
NU student Malika-Budur Kalila listens to Judie Glaser, public relations coordinator at the Niagara Falls City School District.