Junior Year Internship Struggles

Junior year is often the crunch time for getting internships and starting to realize which PR career path to choose for the future. This time is filled with a lot of anxiety and feelings of doubt about what the future has in store. Friends and peers are racking in the internships, while I sit back and watch as they gain valuable experience. Clearly, there is something wrong and I need to jump on the first internship opportunity I see…Wrong!

While I watch my peers and friends getting internships, I remind myself I am only a first semester junior. I have time to apply for an internship to gain more experience. Also, I take a moment to realize the role I have as Secretary of PRSSA. Sometimes it is easy to forget the great skills and experiences I gain from being active in this organization.

The anxiety is present at all times to find the greatest internship. However, after watching and listening to my peers and friends, I’ve learned that great internships don’t just appear. An internship at a big corporate PR firm could be the worst time of my life, while a small lifestyle agency could gain me long-lasting skills and experience.

I know this is a hard time and transition period for any Junior in college, but throwing myself a bone and realizing I have great opportunities without an internship allowed me to shed my anxiety. I will keep working hard and stay in an active leadership position in PRSSA! I know that when I am ready, I will find a good internship. In the meantime, I will relish my time as Secretary of PRSSA.

By: Jeremy Rives, PRSSA Secretary





Stand Up and Stand Out

Standing out in a large student organization chapter can be difficult, especially when it consists of members who have similar majors. I joined Temple’s Chapter of PRSSA in the spring of my freshman year. I was in awe of the e-board and how they seemed to know each member, but I wondered how each individual member knew who one another was and how some people just seemed to “shine” in a room full of people who had a passion for PR and communicating. Later that year I was recognized as an outstanding new chapter member, I received a member spotlight the following semester, and was recognized with my mentor, Clarissa, for outstanding mentor/mentee pair. At the time I wasn’t sure why I was recognized, but looking back, I think I know why.

Here are some tips I’d offer to my freshman self about standing out in a large chapter….

Ask Questions

The biggest mistake I made freshman year was not asking questions out of fear of looking like I didn’t know what I was doing. I later realized everyone has questions- freshman or senior! As an e-board member now, I love when peers (under or upperclassman) ask me questions. Not only can I help them or send them to someone who can help them, but their questions have helped me! I’ve been asked questions about writing that I didn’t know the answer to and we learned together. Experiences like these have helped me to make connections with fellow PRSSA members as well as provided a learning opportunity for both of us.


Show Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm never goes unnoticed. Whether you are nodding your head during a guest speaker presentation or actively participating in a workshop, fellow members and the executive board always notice those who are excited to be a chapter member. Another thing I would have reminded myself is “I’m paying for great resources- I should make the most of them!”. I forgot to check the PRSSA website for writing or scholarship opportunities. Looking into these resources and actively participating make you a better member and you will benefit from all your membership has to offer you!


Be Observant

Most of what I learned as a PRSSA member was by watching others. Being observant helps you to strengthen your skills by directly watching others. You can pick up on subtle things like shaking a guest speaker’s hand or larger things like introducing yourself to a fellow member. Watching others can help to make new things less intimidating, and you will thank yourself for taking the time to observe what others get out of their memberships.


Although it can be intimidating at first, trying to stand out in a large student organization will not only help you to be a better member, but you will get recognized for all of your hard work. Investing your time in a pre-professional organization will help you to further your education outside of the classroom and can help you to make connections to use after you graduate. So remember, stand up and stand out!!

This blog post was written by Director of Public Relations, Joei DeCarlo.




Never Too Late to Get Involved

Hey everyone! If you’re like me, then you probably feel that this semester is already flying by. Midterms are almost here, clubs are in full swing, and Halloween is just around the corner. Despite the speed that Fall 2017 is moving at, there is still so much time left in this semester (and year) to make the most of. One of the best ways to make the most of this time is to join a club.

If you have always wanted to join something, now is the time! The first and most clichéd advice you get when starting freshman year is to get involved. Personally, when I was a freshman that was really hard advice to take. Getting involved my first semester was truly out of my comfort zone, and it took a little while for me to adjust to college. I signed up for a couple clubs at the club fair, got a bunch of emails, showed up to a meeting or two and then stopped going. Then as time moved on, I realized I still had an interest in these clubs, but I conjured up this idea that it was too late to join.

As the year passed, I realized it truly does not matter when you start getting involved—as long as you do at some point. Since then, I ended up transferring schools and was ready for a do-over. I made a real effort to get involved and joined PRSSA, PRowl and a sorority. Through these organizations, I have gained great friends, honed valuable pre-professional skills and learned that I am capable of being busy while managing my time appropriately.

To all new PRSSA freshman, congrats to getting out there the first semester and joining an organization! For some people, it really can take courage to get out there—I was one of those people. And regardless of what class you are, if there is something you still want to join, try to stretch that comfort zone a little further. We only have (about) four years to be a part of these great clubs Temple has to offer, so you might as well make the most of it.

By: Grace Hanlon

Member Spotlight: Karissa Gornick

Meet our first member spotlight of the fall 2017 semester- Karissa Gornick!


Karissa is a sophomore majoring in Strategic Communication (Public Relations Concentration) with a minor in Political Science and a certificate in Mandarin Chinese.

Hailing from Yardley, Pennsylvania, Karissa has been a member of PRSSA for two semesters and is a member of the newsletter committee.



Here are some questions I asked Karissa to get to know her better:

Why do you love PRSSA?

I love PRSSA because we’re all connected by Klein and have similar interests with what we want to do in our lives. It’s so empowering seeing all of these people around me who want to pursue their passions through their majors. PRSSA is a space I feel welcomed in.

What PRSSA Events have you participated in so far?

PPRA’s Networking 101. I made connections with PR professionals that without PRSSA I otherwise never would have made. It was an amazing opportunity, but even more amazing was how much closer I felt to the PRSSA members who went, too. I felt like I definitely bonded with the group of girls I went with because of how nervous yet excited we all were.

Are you part of any other student organizations?

I’m a member of the Iota Chi chapter of Alpha Xi Delta

What is your dream job?

My dream in life is to evoke social change. Ideally, I’d love to work for UN Women’s strategic communications team. Everyday wouldn’t feel like work because gender equality is something I’m very passionate about.
What is your favorite social media platform?

Instagram. I love getting to see highlights of my friends’ lives and share moments of my life, as well.

What is the coolest place you’ve traveled to?

Oberammergau, Germany. It was like a beautiful town straight out of a storybook.

Follow Karissa on social media! 

Instagram- @karirigornick       Facebook & LinkedIn- Karissa Gornick

This spotlight interview was conducted by Joei DeCarlo, Director of Public Relations. 

Ready or Not Here I Come!

About four years ago I took a trip to Europe with an amazing family friend. It’s safe to say that trip gave me the “travel bug”, and I have had the want to go back ever since. Since Temple offered many study abroad programs, I went in search of trying to find a way to study abroad during my college career. I had much discussion with friends, family, and people who have studied abroad in the past. Finally after much waiting, I will be journeying back to my happy place, Europe, at the end of August; but this time, I get to stay longer than two weeks!

My excitement is really ramping up as these final days come to a close, but so is my anxiety about packing and not getting everything done before I leave. Is it me or has this summer gone by super fast?! So far this summer has been a calm one as compared to my last several summers. I have been babysitting and nannying for majority of the time and just enjoying the sunshine in the city with friends! Having a relaxing summer really is great, and I’m excited to jump back into a crazy lifestyle once I touchdown in Italy on August 29!

There are so many things I have to look forward to during my time in Rome. I have been booking weekend trips with my friends across Europe. To date we will be visiting Germany, the Amalfi Coast, Oktoberfest, and a few more cities across Europe in our four months in Italy. I’m excited to take pictures and enjoy exploring new cities across the globe!

The one downside to all of this is packing for four months in about 85 pounds. Let me tell you: packing wardrobe in the constraints of the airline is not easy! I have practiced packing too many times to count and it still doesn’t all fit. Needless to say, I’m super stressed about getting it all to fit. If you have any packing tips or tricks, please let me know!!!

As I prepare for my trip and make sure everything is ready, I’m beginning to realize how much I am going to miss Philadelphia, Temple, and all my friends and family that will be stateside while I’m away. I know these next four months in Rome will go by quickly and I’ll be back to enjoy the Temple fun again soon. In the meantime while I’m gone if you have any questions about study abroad or just want to talk, please feel free to reach out to me!  I look forward to re-joining PRSSA and everyone else in January!

By: Chelsea Seidel

All Work and No Play

After being away from home for my first year at college, I had a few expectations for my summer: one of them being that I would spend a great deal of time working. When I packed my things up to go back home to Harrisburg, I knew that I’d miss the city so to fill my time I planned on doing nothing but working. I originally intended to get a staffing internship at Hershey Park, but when things don’t go as planned, new opportunities arise and I say this from experience. I ended up getting an internship as a Reservations specialist at Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, and what a learning experience that has been.

The first (and probably most important) thing I learned was the customer service industry may not be for me, but that’s what internships are about: finding out what you like and do not like. My days consist of answering phone calls, making reservations for lodging, and answering general questions about Hershey Park. We serve as the guests’ first point of contact with Hershey, and it’s my job to make sure they have a positive experience, which isn’t hard. It can be difficult, but when you talk as much as I do, you get the hang of it. At first I questioned how exactly public relations related to what I was doing, and then I remembered something very important: everything is public relations. It’s probably one of the most important things that I came to realize in my Intro to Public Relations class, which is how I’ve also learned that it takes a special kind of person to provide quality customer service, and that working in the hospitality industry is really built around the relationship between the customer and the company.

I’ve been doing hundred-hour pay periods and at this point, I’ve talked to thousands of people who come from all walks of life. It’s opened my eyes to all the opportunities that can come from even the most unexpected of places, and that’s why I love what public relations can do. It excites me to meet more people, and I’m even more thrilled to get into the field that I’ve chosen.

Overall, I’ve had a pretty tame summer. I learned a lot about what it is like to work in the corporate field, met some amazing people, and spent time with the people that mean the most to me. I’m really looking forward to meeting even more people, and I hope to get an internship this semester. I’m excited to have a great semester with Temple PRSSA, but next summer I really do need a vacation.

By: Thatcher Williams

When One Door Closes..

I always felt I was late in the game when it came to my major. I didn’t decide on public relations until late sophomore year, and by then a lot of my peers had already started their core classes and even had participated in multiple internships. This past spring semester, I realized I had to play catch up- I NEEDED a summer internship. This was a lot harder than I thought. I had never interned anywhere before, so I lacked major experience outside the classroom. Still, I kept trekking on and applied to new places everyday.

 My inbox soon began to fill up with the same response:

“We’ve ultimately decided to go with a more experienced candidate for this position.”

 No one wanted to take a chance on somebody who didn’t have background in PR internships, and although I was frustrated, I understood their decisions. About a week before the 2017 Spring semester ended came a beacon of hope! My sister had emailed me saying the company she worked for in DC was looking for summer interns. Immediately I applied, and got called in for an interview. I traveled to our nation’s capital with high hopes, crushed the interview, and went home satisfied… Little did I know a few days later I’d be notified they didn’t have any room in their communications field for summer interns.

 Again, my frustration arose and I was about to give up when another beacon (more promising for the first one) popped into my inbox. It was from a woman who worked at my sister’s DC office. She knew of an opening for online communications interns through Bossed Up!, a company that offers personal and professional development training for women. With nothing to lose, I applied, and after various interviews I got the job! Through my internship, I have learned so much and continue to learn more everyday.

It is so frustrating getting rejected, but that should never stop you. Perseverance and patience are key when applying for internships, especially if you’re just starting out. Take it from me, when one door closes, another one is sure to open!

By: Lailumah Faisal