NextGenPR: Attending My First Regional Conference

When I visited CSU Fullerton for my first regional conference, I was pretty excited. I had visited Fullerton once before when I was a student at Cal Poly Pomona but at the time, it was winter and for different reasons. 

Although it was Southern California, there were cloudy, grey skies and wind whipping at my jacket as I watched black sororities and fraternities step. When I visited for the conference, the campus was larger than I remembered. This time I was a guest to bright blue skies and a sun that was vibrant and generous. There were tall palm trees surrounding the quad and a light wind ruffling the leaves. As my group and I walked down a small flight of stairs into the student union, right before the entrance were a handful of circular tables with deep blue umbrellas hanging over them. The university looked like it was straight from a scene of Zoey 101. I really liked it.

Eventually, we followed the noise and entered a room of well-dressed public relations students. Slacks, blazers, skirts and name badges were all around me and I remember having to take a deep breath to take it all in. To my left was a long rectangular table full of delicious food (some of the best eggs and potatoes I have ever tasted) and beverages. There were at least 20 circular tables within the room and I felt like I was a real professional. My group and I secured a table at the far left of the room and we had a great view of the crowd and the keynote speaker – Steve Rohr, a publicist for the Oscars. Needless to say, as Rohr stood on the stage and weaved his story beginning from his childhood to his professional career, every student sat and listened attentively. When we broke to attend our sessions and bodies brushed past my shoulders, I remember feeling so inspired.

One day, I would love to revisit my alma mater and share to the next generation of PR professionals what I’ve learned in the pursuit of a fulfilling career.