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University of Central Arkansas Chapter Hosts “The PUSH: Millennials in PR”

January 30, 2017

CONWAY, Ark. (Jan. 30, 2017) — The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter at the University of Central Arkansas sponsored a panel discussion titled, “The PUSH: Millennials in PR” on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016.

The PUSH, held in the UCA College of Business Auditorium, was the second event in a series that strives to aid millennials in succeeding in the workforce.

Public relations, communication, journalism and students in related fields as well as practitioners were invited to spend the evening listening to three professionals speak about interpersonal communication, continued education and job searching.

“The PUSH is a panel discussion series that is near and dear to my heart,” said PUSH creator and panel moderator Mia Banks. “As a media professional, I value the ‘each one, teach one’ method because someone willingly took the time to share their professional knowledge with me to ensure that I had the necessary tools to succeed.”

“It is my hope that The PUSH will catapult others’ dreams into realities,” said Banks, a radio personality for KTZS Streetz 101.1 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The panelists were Mary Hargraves, public relations specialist of  Ghidotti Communications in Little Rock; Taylor Stokes, project manager at Eric Rob & Isaac in Little Rock; and Gerald Thomas, owner and senior account director of The GDT PR Agency in Little Rock.

The panelists stressed how important networking is when it comes to career building. Thomas said practitioners in public relations need to possess interpersonal skills that encourage communication.

"You have to cultivate relationships with people who are interested in your field," Thomas said. “These are relationships that will help when searching for a job. Students are told that finding a job can be challenging after graduation. Believe it or not, professionals are willing to help by sharing your resume.”

Hargraves stressed how important it is to gain experience through internships. Internships expose and allow students to practice roles and responsibilities that professionals must fulfill. She said that even after receiving a degree, graduates should look to gain experience wherever they can.

Along with gaining experience, Hargraves said students should save valuable work they produce in class for their portfolio. “Portfolios are really important because it shows what you've accomplished in college and what you can do,” Hargraves said.

Stokes, a UCA alumna, said she wished she had known as an undergraduate that being busy as a college student versus a professional is different.

“The biggest adjustment you have to make is with your time management,” Stokes said. “You may be working from 8 to 5 and all of your busyness of life has to either happen before or after that, or at lunch or during the day, because you have a job and people rely and clients rely on you for you to get stuff done,” she said.

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The UCA Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America provides students with the opportunity to learn more about public relations, to apply that knowledge in practical situations and to support one another in a professional and social environment. The club’s activities include providing public relations work for various organizations, sponsoring speakers, supporting students in their major and creating community connections that enhance employment opportunities. For more information, visit uca.com/communication.


Stephanie Higginbotham


University of Central Arkansas PRSSA