I was fortunate enough to attend PRSSA National Assembly in Miami, March 8-11! This was a great experience to not only explore a new city, but to network with peers and contribute to PRSSA on a national level. The main purpose of National Assembly is to vote on the new national committee – basically the executive board for PRSSA National. This was really exciting because my vote counted and will make a difference in the next year as the new committee governs the organization. Here is a summary of what I did over the weekend:
This year, the conference was held in sunny Miami and I was so happy to get out of the snow for the weekend. The conference started on Thursday with a keynote speaker and dinner. Unfortunately, I could only attend the last portion of this event due to my flight schedule.
Friday, we kicked off the day with breakfast and some leadership sessions. I learned a lot in these leadership sessions that I brought back to our E-Board – it was great getting to hear best practices and learn about other chapters in the country. I even got to talk to some students from Argentina and Columbia at these sessions and it was really cool to see how their chapters differ from those in the states.
After the leadership sessions, we sat in on a couple meetings to prep us for “the big day” on Saturday and then we sat in on a session titled “Conflict Vs. Crisis.” This was an interesting discussion where we learned about the four phases of crisis management: proactive, strategic, reactive and recovery.
Friday, we ended early and got the rest of the day to explore. My roommate and I drove to Coconut Grove, a district about five miles outside of downtown Miami. We walked around the marina and the downtown area, got dinner and gelato and talked to some locals about what to do in the area. We got some amazing food here and got to see some beautiful architecture and gardens.
On Saturday, we woke up bright and early and headed downstairs for breakfast. It was the big election day and got the chance to hear from a number of qualified individuals. It honestly blew my mind how awesome some of these people were who were getting up in front of almost 300 people to give speeches. It was really hard to choose between candidates but by the end of this very long day, every delegate played a part in selecting the next national committee board and it was so awesome to be a part of it! Before we parted ways for the evening, I met up with the other delegates from Michigan to take a picture.
On Sunday, I began my long journey back to Michigan. As I was reflecting on the plane ride home, I realized how my involvement with PRSSA has really shaped my life. I have gotten to meet so many amazing people who will be my friends forever. I have grown professionally and traveled to some pretty cool places, all because of PRSSA! As I stepped off the plane and shivered due to the frigid Michigan air, I felt so inspired and excited for my future and the future of PRSSA.
Abby Cousineau is a senior at EMU majoring in public relations and minoring in graphic design and marketing. She is currently serving as president of EMU PRSSA and is excited to be leading such a creative and dedicated group of individuals. You can usually find Abby outside anytime the weather is nice or otherwise spending her time behind a computer screen, working on one of her design projects. Connect with Abby on Instagram @abcattt.