Public relations specialists from the Public Relations Society of America spoke to students on campus Tuesday as part of the second annual “What’s Next Session.” Guest speakers Patrick Spadafore and Amanda Slaver offered insight and helped students answer their questions about what awaits them after graduation.
Spadafore and Slaver, who are both Oswego State alumni and current public relations practitioners, each spoke to current students about their own careers. There was a question and answer period which allowed students to ask any questions they had about the work force that they will soon be trying to enter. There was also time for students to interact directly and network with Spadafore and Slaver after the event.
Spadafore and Slaver gave students valuable information to use in their future careers. Spadafore is the account supervisor at Eric Mowers & Associates. He has been at his current position for 15 years and has worked in public relations for 25 years. Spadafore said that there are three skills that public relations majors need to have: experience, writing skills, and relationship skills. When asked what he wished someone told him when he was a student at Oswego State, he said, “I wish someone told me that I need to have good time-management skills.”
He reiterated how important it is to be able to thrive in the fast paced environment that the field of public relations revolves around. One thing that Spadafore has noticed as a change in Oswego State is that there is now an actual public relations degree with professors that have had valuable experience in the industry.
Slaver is a communication specialist for the Rochester Museum and Science Center. Slaver has worked at her current position for two years and has worked in the field of public relations for 15 years. Slaver placed importance on having good writing skills, keeping in contact with companies after the interviewing process, having good organizational skills, especially when constructing a resume and cover letter and having good questions during the interview.
“I wish someone told me the specifics of public relations documents and having copies of each with you, for example a press release,” Slaver said when asked about what she wished she was told when she was still a student at Oswego State. “I also wished someone told me how important it is to research companies, be confident, have questions, and to bring a portfolio.”
Slaver also said that she sees major changes on campus from construction over the years, but the people have not changed. More over, the Oswego State is still a welcoming community with common goals.
PRSSA president Mary Yaeger was the coordinator of the event with the help of PRSSA
faculty advisor Professor Sarah Bozek, Dr. Kristen Eichcorn, and the Oswego State Alumni Office. Yaeger said that there was a good turn out and that she loved that alumni were able to come back to campus and speak. She added that she hopes that through this event more people know the PRSSA name and understand what they do. Yaeger hopes to go to graduate school after graduating this spring in order to go into the integrative marketing communications field.
PRSSA Vice President Bob Braunlich moderate the event. Braunlich hopes to become a spokesperson after graduating this spring. Professor Bozek, the PRSSA faculty advisor, said that she saw an increase in interest from students and that she also enjoyed working with PRSSA members to put together the event.