FPRA Orlando’s February Breakfast: A Student’s Perspective
By: Javon Scott, UCF Student
Being new to the city of Orlando and to the University of Central Florida, I was beyond elated to attend my very first FPRA Orlando event. Getting the opportunity to network and meet professionals in the field I’ve dreamed of for years is something I’ll never forget! The morning of, I ran around my house in search of something to wear so I could make great connections and a great first impression. I was a nervous wreck seeing everyone walk in. I practiced saying, “Hello, my name is Javon” maybe five times. One would think I was preparing for a job interview.
The breakfast brought out Prismatic’s Stephanie Darden, who gave a wonderful presentation on her “baby,” ProjectDTO. The project takes on the challenge of redefining what Downtown Orlando actually is. Darden and her team conducted many surveys via social media outlets (Twitter, Instagram, etc.) to see what “Orlandians” really enjoy or dislike about Downtown. With some wanting more family orientated activities and some wanting more nightlife events, ProjectDTO covered all bases to make the changes that people want. For someone like myself who recently just moved here, I’ve seen nothing wrong with Downtown, but the response was huge. Homelessness was something that really stuck out to me, as Ms. Darden pointed out that many didn’t like how high the homeless population was in Downtown. This offers a great opportunity to help the homeless population together and change the community’s perception on the issue.
As Ms. Darden presented her project, I took a step back mentally to actually analyze where I was. For my first visit, I felt like a young professional being greeted with open arms of people who share the same passion as myself. I realized at this moment that all the practicing and rehearsal I did before entering the event was beneficial, but not necessary. I felt as if I was surrounded by a group of peers I’ve known for years! The professionals in attendance loved the fact that, as students, were eager to learn more outside of the classroom and ask questions about their everyday life in the workplace. Getting to take a selfie with the president-elect of FPRA Orlando, Laura Kern, APR, was probably my favorite part of the experience, especially because it got over one hundred likes on Instagram. I highly recommend that any student studying Public Relations at UCF attend an FPRA breakfast. It’ll be an eye opening experience and one step closer to your dream job!