Chapter Rewind: New Year, New You

By Mark R. Richardson, Manager, Public Relations, Media Relations, & Communications, Seminole State College of Florida

With the start of a new year, most of us tend to make New Year’s resolutions such as eating better, exercising more, or trying to give up bad habits. One resolution that you can make any time of the year that will have a substantial impact on your life is to learn something new.

At FPRA Orlando’s January professional development breakfast held at Seminole State College in Sanford, we explored the many paths that are available for public relations professionals to continue their education. Whether it be a certificate program to gain an in-depth understanding of Microsoft Excel or pursuing a master’s or doctorate degree, the options are endless.

FPRA state accreditation chair Ginger Broslat, APR, CPRC; Associate Professor and Assistant Director of Academic Programs for the Nicholson School of Communication at UCF Melissa Dodd, Ph.D., APR; Summer Pessatore, Student Admissions Specialist at Seminole State College; and, Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business Recruitment Manager Linda Puritz discussed the numerous opportunities available for PR professionals to take their careers to the next level.

We learned that, with today’s technology, you don’t have to sit in a classroom to take a course. With a computer and an internet connection, you can take online classes as an alternative to on-campus classes.

Keep in mind that online classes aren’t for everyone. They require a unique commitment as well as good time management skills, motivation and self-discipline. They are neither easier nor more difficult than on-campus courses, but they do call for a special kind of dedication. You should take stock of yourself and examine your learning preferences before enrolling in any online class.

Regardless of what learning environment is best for you, it’s up to you to take the next step to not only improve yourself but also the world around you, because as Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

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