Whether you are an underclassman just starting your program, or you are finishing your last couple semesters before graduation, you should consider applying for Grand Valley’s nationally affiliated student-run public relations firm, GrandPR.
What is GrandPR?
GrandPR consists of a student-run staff who are enthusiastic about learning outside of the classroom and are passionate about applying the skills they’re learning to real clients. The firm offers clients an array of public relations and integrated marketing needs ranging from social media, financial relations, to crisis communication, and everything in between. This is a special year for GrandPR because we are celebrating our 10th anniversary by performing 10 acts of service and will be honoring our past and current staff, as well as all of our mentors, at our Timeless Ten party later this month.
What GrandPR Can Do for You
Through GrandPR, students have the opportunity to work in an agency setting, improve their writing through blogging, gain leadership experience, and broaden their public relations skill set.
Before I joined GrandPR, I knew very little about the advertising and public relations (APR) industry. With only a few APR classes under my belt, I felt inexperienced and overwhelmed at the thought of working in this field. However, after just one semester in GrandPR, I had learned skills that I otherwise wouldn’t have learned inside the classroom and was applying that learning to real client projects. By the end of my first year as an Account Associate, I had fulfilled work for two clients and felt confident in my ability to provide clients with work to achieve their objectives.
Not only did being a member of GrandPR add value to my growing resume, but my leadership role, as the current Vice President of Operations, left me confident when applying for APR-related internships. I cannot emphasize enough how many employers were impressed by the skills I was using in a student-run firm. From working on teams as an Account Associate or Account Executive, or having a role on the e-board, our members learn the value of teamwork and project management. These roles provide students with an agency experience before having an internship. The projects created in GrandPR become powerful portfolio pieces. You won’t be able to find an experience that prepares you for internships and post-grad work anywhere else; Take advantage of it.
Another opportunity GrandPR provides you with is CreateAthon. This year, GrandPR was one of three student-run public relation firms in the country selected to host CreateAthon. It is a 24-hour marathon where students work in five teams to create a communications plan for five local nonprofits. This was our second year receiving a bid to host CreateAthon and we created campaigns for The Disability Advocates of Kent County, the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology, Family Futures, Ele’s Place, and the Grand Rapids Pride Center.
This year I worked on a campaign for the Grand Rapids Pride Center to increase ticket sales for the Pride Festival which is coming up in June. Working for 24 hours is no easy task, but one of the most rewarding feelings is to see a client’s reaction to the work my teammates and I completed in that short amount of time. And don’t worry, there was plenty of food and de-stressing breaks like creating slime to keep up motivated. CreateAthon is an experience like no other; it pushes you to think creatively and to challenge yourself. To this day, CreateAthon remains one of the most talked about experiences on my resume. Interviewers love to hear what students do to further their learning outside of the classroom. It shows passion, dedication, and that you care about giving back.
How You Can Apply
By now, I hope you’ve already pulled up our website and began to look at staff applications. If not, stop reading about my experience and apply to start your own! In addition to the irreplaceable experience and growth you will receive, you will also have the opportunity to take professional headshots and exclusive access to new internships and volunteer opportunities. So stop wondering debating if you should apply and take advantage of this opportunity. Don’t believe me? Read our past blogs and listen to our mini GrandPR podcast series to hear how other students have benefited from this firm.
Delaney MacKenzie is a junior at GVSU majoring in Advertising and Public Relations. This year, Delaney is serving GrandPR’s E-Board as the Vice President of Operations. In addition to her work for GrandPR, Delaney is a Marketing Intern for TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants, a Social Media Engagement Manager for the GVSU Promotion’s Office, and is a member of PRSSA and Advertising Club. When she’s not studying, you can find Delaney searching for classic rock vinyls to add to her collection or reading a new book.