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Financial Success Workshop Kicks Off Professional Development Series at USM

April 5, 2016

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (April 5, 2016) — The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) collaborated with the university’s Graduate Student Alliance to welcome Russ Willis, USM professor of practice of management. With more than 25 years as an experienced professional in human resources, administration and education, Willis offered valuable information for students of all ages.

Titled “Show Me the Money: Building Financial Success,” the workshop prepared students to think beyond salary when considering job opportunities and to plan for long-term health and financial stability.

“Never go without health insurance and never go without contributing to your retirement,” said Willis. “It’s never too early to start preparing.”

Emphasizing the importance of health insurance and retirement plans, Willis provided scenarios, statistics and resources for students to begin planning for life after retirement before the start of their careers.

While many students are seeking a big check with their first position in the profession, Willis advised against unrealistic expectations, obsessive negotiations and immediate salary discussions. He urged students to research the job and consider location, benefits and cost of living among other deciding factors.

According to Willis, budgeting is an important element of maintaining a salary after a job is secured. He recommended starting with retirement and social security deductions from a gross salary before factoring fixed and flexible expenses. Willis also suggested that students save a minimum of $50–$100 per month for emergencies or relocation, with knowledge of frequent job transitions among millennials.

The program was one of many upcoming events and activities geared toward graduating seniors including a panel, a professional mixer, agency tours and more.



The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) was founded October 30, 1980. The School of Mass Communication and Journalism, our parent organization and local practitioners offer members professional development and networking opportunities. The resources help students enhance their education and broaden their network to launch their careers. Membership is open to students of all classes and majors.


Kaisha Brown

Vice President of Professional Development

Email: kaisha.brown@eagles.usm.edu