By: Rhy Wiethe
With graduation approaching in a short year, I find myself asking what the “Fresh Graduate PR Starter Pack” looks like. Is it solely finding a job before graduation even if it’s not something I’m interested in? Is it continuing on the education track and earning degree after degree in hopes of having the right qualifications for my dream career? Of course, every professional will have different answers. However, most will agree that The first step is finding ways to be involved on campus in order to be a competitive applicant for whatever lies beyond graduation. For Blaithe Tarley, PRSSA is a prestigious and must-join club for all students interested in public relations.
“With PRSA it was a natural transition, I immediately joined after I graduated college because I knew that was something I needed to keep with me for sure,” said Blaithe Tarley of transitioning from PRSSA to PRSA.
Tarley, a former WVU PRSSA chapter president, found that PRSA helped her stay in the loop about new innovations in the PR industry, while also providing a tight-knit network of friends and accomplished professionals.
During her senior year in PRSSA, she applied and obtained the PRSSA National Gold Key Award–– the most prestigious award for PRSSA members. Following her transition to PRSA, she won the 2018 Young Professional Award for PRSA WV.
Tarley’s favorite memory so far from her time in PRSA was having the opportunity to help plan the Crystal Awards ceremony in 2018. The Crystal Award ceremony has been an annual award ceremony that WV PRSA has been putting on for almost 40 years, so Tarley expressed that this was a huge opportunity for her to be a part of the process.
“To get to plan an event where these heavy-hitter professionals who have done amazing work come to this event and have such a great time and knowing that it was partly your work that went into it was very rewarding. It was great to celebrate our wonderful PR network that we have in West Virginia,” Tarley said with a smile.
In terms of connecting WV PRSA with WVU PRSSA, Tarley believes the New Professionals Committee is a great way to connect the two organizations.
“Getting to know these new professionals who were in your shoes not too long ago will help put your [students] knowledge and skills to the test,” Tarley said. “It would be a great segue for students to start thinking about the future and the opportunities that exist in the real world while networking with WVU alumni.”