Let Your New Year’s Resolution Be to Mentor the Next Generation
by Jonathan Gabriel
It’s been a little over a year-and-a-half since I took on the role of VP of Student Outreach for our FPRA Orlando Area Chapter, where I act as a liaison to Quotes, UCF’s PR student organization. In that time, I’ve promoted and attended their events, helped them find guest speakers and tour locations, and, generally serve as a fount of advice and resources. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
I was a student not long ago – a volatile mixture of ambition, youthful naiveté and trepidation. That’s why I’m a big believer in the aphorism, “don’t pull the ladder up behind you.” Once you achieve some modicum of career success, it is imperative to help guide those coming up.
As an FPRA member, you can serve as a bridge between the working world and the next generation of PR stars. You may think you don’t have the time, or you’re not sure what you could contribute. Your industry knowledge and set of contacts are invaluable to someone just starting out. Here are some ways to contribute:
- Consider stopping by the Tijuana Flats by UCF (11551 University Blvd.) on Monday, January 15 from 5-8 p.m. Twenty percent of your purchase will benefit Quotes as they plan for the year ahead.
- Talk to one student at an FPRA event. If you can’t locate one, come find me or one of my fellow board members and we can connect you. It just takes five minutes: tell the student what you do. Ask where their professional interests lie and give them your business card. Networking can be daunting at first for many students. By granting a student a few moments of your time, you’ve increased their confidence and helped them start to build their network.
- Ask me about opportunities to speak to Quotes members, either at one of their meetings or as part of a tour of your organization. Recent tours included the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, Universal Orlando Resort and Adventist Health System and were well-received.
By taking some or all of these steps, you’ll make a real difference in the lives of our PR students. What’s more, by familiarizing yourself with the up-and-comers now, you have a better chance of scooping them up before your competition does.
To find out more about how you can become involved, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.