My parents, grandparents, friends, cousins, basically everyone, always told me that college would be here before I knew it. And this notion could not be truer. Suddenly, high school ended, August 14, 2018 came around, and I was whisked away to Columbus, Ohio to embark on my new life at The Ohio State University. I knew immediately that I wanted to get involved, yet I didn’t know where to find an activity that would be fun and interesting, but also add to my resume and strengthen skills pertaining to my career.
As a strategic communications major, I wanted something that would allow me to gain real world experience with professional writing and social media analysis. Yet, I was and am a first-year, so I was weary as to whether or not I could find something that offered real world situations to someone with so little experience.
The Involvement Fair was helpful, yet nothing stuck out to me. I decided to keep searching for something that would fit my desires. Later that week, a friend of mine invited me to an EcoCAR meeting; he said there was free pizza (so of course I went) and that we’d just check it out and see what it was. Little did I know it would completely alter my college experience, and my resume.
Through my attendance of the EcoCAR meeting, I met Allison Meller, President of the Public Relations Student Society of America, a member of the communications team at EcoCAR, and an account supervisor at the PRactice. We began to discuss how I could become involved in communications for EcoCAR, and she explained how the PRactice - the student run public relations firm at OSU - would allow me to do so. As soon as I arrived back at the dorms, I immediately found the OSU PRactice online, only to find a beautiful website with an application form. But the thing that stood out the most to me were the words “open to all levels of experience”.
Finally! A place where I could be a freshman, but also gain real world experience and learn skills applicable to my career. I applied, was accepted, and soon attended the first meeting, beyond excited to begin my time as an account associate.
Now that I’ve been a part of the PRactice for a few weeks, I’m realizing how impactful this experience will be on the success of my major and my career. Already, I’ve critiqued social media accounts, analyzed an engineering blog, and ran a SWOT analysis on a website. While at times it’s intimidating to be working with third and fourth year students, I know that I’m meant to be an account associate and that I can learn from my peers. I have also realized that I want to continue my involvement with the firm for years to come, and I am devoted to becoming the best account associate I can be.
Joining a club or activity as a freshman can be a scary thing, especially when being new to the college experience in general, but I’ve found that jumping in early will only lead to community,
opportunity, and experience that is better to gain now rather than later.
Emily Smith is a freshman majoring in Strategic Communications and minoring in Professional Writing and Business. She is an Account Associate at The Practice, a member of PRSSA, a Morill scholar, an International Affairs scholar, and attends Cru weekly. Emily hopes to pursue a career in corporate marketing.