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Point Park students and instructor Camille Downing at the PRSSA conference in Atlanta. Photo | Kariann Mano
Emmiley Stern, Maggie McCauley, Dana Fitzgerald, Kariann Mano and Camille Downing 

Four public relations and advertising students, accompanied by Instructor Camille Downing, joined thousands of students at the PRSSA 2015 National Conference: Rethink, Rebuild, Renew.

Held Nov. 6-10 in Atlanta, Ga., students networked with industry professionals during development sessions and presentations, learned about PR case studies and strategies, and visited the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola.

Below, the students describe their experiences at the conference, what they learned, as well as why they chose to attend Point Park.

What was one of the most rewarding experiences you had at the conference?

I learned about the comeback of Carnival Cruise Line, which was really exciting. The presentation detailed how much went into their comeback and the crises the company suffered. After the presentation, I introduced myself to the chief communications officer to talk about my career goals. - Kariann Mano, senior PR and advertising major

Getting to hear from people who work in your dream field was great. I attended a session led by communications professionals from the Atlanta Hawks; this was very beneficial because I would consider a career in sports. - Dana Fitzgerald, senior PR and advertising major

What key messages did you take away from the conference?

The two messages I came away with is that no matter how long it's been or who it is, there's always an opportunity to connect with a professional you admire. The other message is that social media is the next frontier of PR, and there are endless possibilities for how to use it creatively. - Emmiley Stern, senior PR and advertising major

I attended a session on global messaging led by a professional from Ketchum. She instructed students to think of themselves as entry-level CEOs, and that we should feel confident in our roles to speak up and offer ideas. Going along with that, the vice president of communications at Coca-Cola encouraged us to work hard and follow our passions, and that no job is too small to give your best effort. - Maggie McCauley, junior double majoring in PR and advertising and broadcast reporting

How will you incorporate what you learned into your career?

I will be graduating in a few weeks and I learned some great tips as I prepare to enter the real world. One of the sessions I attended discussed how to make the transition smoothly. I also received helpful feedback on how to stand out in an interview and improve my portfolio. - DF

Why did you choose to attend Point Park?

Point Park is located in the middle of everything in Downtown Pittsburgh. It's so easy to get to my internship at the Carnegie Science Center, located within walking distance to campus. I also chose Point Park because I wanted to go to school in Pennsylvania, but still go far enough away from home. - KM

Anything else you would like to add?

If you have the chance to attend extra things outside of the classroom, go! Go to conferences, workshops and lectures. Take notes, ask questions and figure out how you can apply those things to your career. - MM

PRSSA Atlanta Conference

Photos courtesy of Kariann Mano


More About: conference, broadcast reporting, student trips, School of Communication, internships, Downtown Pittsburgh, public relations and advertising, AdFed/PRSSA