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Student Organization Spotlight: PRSSA

By Abigail Amey, BS Communication ’19



September 24, 2018

The Drexel Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is an organization for students interested in public relations. Most members come from the communication and marketing fields, but others study engineering, economics and even culinary arts. I interviewed communication major Nneka Van Gronigen ’19, the president of Drexel PRSSA from 2016 to 2018, for her perspective on the organization. Students interested in joining PRSSA can inquire at Drexel.prssa@gmail.com.

Nneka Van Gronigen '19
Nneka Van Gronigen '19

Abigail: How would you describe PRSSA?

Nneka: PRSSA is a community of students looking to enhance the public relations knowledge we receive on co-op and in classes. Beyond gaining hands-on experience with media relations, event planning and consulting, PRSSA offers students a place to develop their own thoughts and talents through riveting discussions and activities.

A: What is the best part of being in PRSSA?

N: Making connections. I have met PR professionals from around the world who serve as mentors and advisers to me. I have also met students globally who are great resources and amazing friends. In our chapter, PRSSA has given me some of my best friends here at Drexel. I constantly find myself wanting to just be around our members because of their good vibes. Everyone is so welcoming and always willing to help.

A: How has PRSSA benefited you as a student and as a young professional?

N: When I was younger, PRSSA provided me with a way to show I had experience in social media or writing press releases because of the work I was doing for the organization. The connections I've made have helped me not only get great co-op experiences in Philadelphia, but also excel at each position because of how prepared I felt going in.

As president, I was faced with challenges that most top-level PR professionals must deal with daily in their companies. This gave me not only strong leadership skills that employers can relate to, but also conflict resolution and time-management skills that they look for in their employees.

A: Can you describe your favorite PRSSA memory?

N: It's always hard for me to just pick one memory — when I think back on my favorites, I just see so much laughter — but I'll give you this one. My favorite non-meeting memory was a movie bonding night we had. We all brought a bunch of snacks and food in the midst of a busy testing period and watched “What Happened to Monday.” (In a futuristic world with a one-child policy, six septuplets must avoid danger while searching for their missing sister.) The commentary was absolutely hilarious throughout, and our discussions about the movie continue to this day.

My favorite meeting was our news-watching party, where we watched a couple of news segments and analyzed sub-contexts and aspects of the media. Since I started studying communication at Drexel, I naturally analyze all aspects of the media, so being able to do that openly with others who are also interested was awesome.

A: Are there leadership opportunities within PRSSA, and if so, what are they?

N: There are many leadership positions in PRSSA on the executive board, including president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, social media coordinator and national liaison. We strongly believe in giving everyone the experience they desire, so students are welcome to step up and assist with the tasks associated with these positions if they so desire.

A: Do you have any advice for someone coming to Drexel to study communication?

N: My advice for any individual coming to study communication would be to get involved in at least two organizations while at Drexel — one that's professionally focused like PRSSA, and one that is just plain old fun. We often stress about how busy we are in our 10-week terms, but time goes by so fast and taking the time to do things you care about goes a long way.

A professional organization can provide you with the resources and connections to flourish while in school and help you land a job in your field after graduation. Joining an organization just for fun will allow you to relax and interact with different majors and personality types that will help expand your network and perspectives. PRSSA is both professional AND fun, so if you're going to just pick one organization, then I've just made the decision a lot easier for you.

Contact Drexel.prssa@gmail.com to join PRSSA or learn about our upcoming events.