Jeanette Rivera - marketing coordinator for Studio RED Architects, former PRSSA Chapter president
Joud Ahmad - public relations specialist at National Oil Varco, former PRSSA Chapter vice president
Lauren Loxterman - co-owner of Soversity PR, PRSA New Pros member, former PRSSA Chapter vice president
Justin Concepcion - communications manager for Mike Sullivan, former PRSSA Chapter vice president of membership
Lisa Anderson - co-owner of Soversity PR
The following are some of the questions asked by students and the responses given by members of the panel:
What’s the one thing you would tell your college self?
Do everything possible, volunteer at PRSA, go to everything! —Lisa
When you make a mistake, it’s okay. —Lauren
Keep up with everything you’re interested in. Watch the news. —Joud
The mistakes you make, make you who you are. —Justin
Lauren and Lisa, what was it like starting your own PR agency?
If you want to work in an agency, get an internship in one first. —Lauren
We grew our clientele with referrals. You have to take some risk. —Lauren
Joud, what was it like starting a public relations department for your company?
The hard part, was realizing you have to actually prove yourself. —Joud
It was scary, but you learn. – Joud
As a student who is networking, you can ask anything. —Justin
How do you keep up the connection with someone you’ve networked with?
Think, how is this person going to help me grow in my industry? —Justin
What can you do to get to know someone in a professional event?
“Don’t be afraid to compliment”. —Joud
If you do take them out for a drink, keep it at two drinks minimum.
How long did it take you after graduation to land a job?
Some people have a job lined up after graduation, but some have to look and work hard to find one.
About 4 months after graduation we finally decided to launch our own firm. —Lauren
The job search can take a long time. Look early, but not too early. —Lauren
“Be confident in yourself. If this doesn’t work out, there’s always something else.”—Jeanette