Connecting across the nation
Throughout my college career, I have been told countless times to network, network, network. It wasn’t any different when I started my spring break in Charlotte, N.C., as the UW-Stevens Point Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter representative at the PRSSA National Assembly.
Now this is no small matter. PRSSA is the largest pre-professional organization in the world! I was among the top public relations students and leaders in the nation to vote for our national committee, who oversees the organization.
As public relations pre-professionals, we learn to build relationships and, of course, network. Much of the time at National Assembly was spent giving out and collecting business cards. But is that enough?
In my philosophy, you have to do more than just network; you have to connect. According to Mr. Webster, networking is “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.”
Connecting is getting to know someone at a more personal level rather than just as a business acquaintance. It is building relationships without expecting to get something in return.
So don’t just network, connect.
Song Xiong is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point majoring in dietetics and communication.