Walking into a room full of people when you don’t know anyone is undoubtedly nerve-wracking. Walking into a room full of people you don’t know and knowing you’re an odd ball is surely enough to make you sweat. But expanding from the walls of your major is nothing to sweat about.
There is so much potential and opportunity within the walls of our own programs, why would you ever want to make a move somewhere else?
Well, because people desperately need you to—and you may find you need it for yourself.
I am a Studio Art major with a concentration in Graphic Design getting my degree from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Grand Valley State University. Yet, somewhere and somehow, I got hooked on public relations. I have even been chosen to be next year’s CEO of GrandPR as a graphics major. This happened because last semester I chose to take a public relations course with the mindset that I would come into contact with PR professionals in my career. In that class, I was encouraged to check out PRSSA, and through that class I became the designer for Generation Grand: PR in GR (a seriously kick butt regional conference).
I’m not spilling out my resume to impress you. I’m letting you in on a secret: there are experiences waiting for you, opportunities that have your name on them, and people that probably need you but don’t have the connections or resources to find you. You are needed in your major, and GrandPR is a great example of that: PR majors practicing within their PR firm to provide services, gain experience, and make connections. However, GrandPR is also a great example of PR pros relying on the talents other people in other majors bring. Our majors try to give us tools to explore different disciplines with what classes they require, but sometimes it’s up to us to go a little deeper.
Have you ever considered joining a club that is outside of your comfort zone? Your resume will get beefed up. The connections you make will be killer. The pizza will be hot. There is no way I would be doing half of what I am today, or have nearly the group of friends and allies, if I didn’t step one foot (which turned into a not-so-graceful-swan-dive) into the waters of PR at the beginning of the year.
Here’s the lesson: humans are humans. So if the “scary” PR kids can welcome this graphics gal with all the love they can muster, I’m sure that the marketing or hospitality or advertising or business kids will do the same with you. You might realize that you fit right in (and that they need you… like, really badly). So stop hoarding your knowledge, go tip-toe into someone else’s discipline, and take over.
Sabrina Antcliff is on the creative team at GrandPR and is the design head for Generation Grand: PR in GR. She is majoring in graphic design and minoring in advertising and public relations. Sabrina has been a contracted employee using her design skills at the Kent Intermediate School District for the last five years. She is a perfectionist who genuinely loves people, and has a heart for reducing her waste contribution in the environment. All of her social media handles are @brinaa100