ATHENS, Ga. (March 18, 2014) — Sixteen junior and senior members of the PRSSA Drewry Chapter traveled to Washington D.C. on February 24 to network with public relations professionals and government officials.
The trip began on Tuesday, Feb. 25 and ended with an alumni mixer the evening of Friday, Feb. 28. Throughout the four days, students experienced the inner workings of public relations agencies and nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C. Day one of this trip included a tour of The American Red Cross where students participated in a mock disaster and on camera press conference with Peter Macias, Director of Communications. Students also attended a tour and informational presentation at The Pentagon.
Day two was comprised of a tour at the Office of Homeland Security, Widmeyer Communications and The Glover Park Group. On the third day, senior attendees visited the White House while juniors toured Ogilvy. Later, all students reconvened to visit Porter Novelli and Edelman.
On Friday, Feb. 28, students shadowed public relations professionals in agencies, nonprofit organizations and government offices throughout the city and attended a mixer with more than 100 alumni from the University of Georgia.
"I originally decided to go on the trip because I wanted to get a better feel for the PR industry outside of Atlanta. I was surprised to learn how large the public affairs niche is in the communications industry. The trip really opened my eyes to the unlimited opportunities that public relations and public affairs have to offer,” said Samantha Slappey, a senior public relations major.
This agency tour offered students a new perspective on the opportunities in public relations awaiting them in Washington D.C. Students also got to experience a spectrum of communications specialties in nonprofit organizations, government offices and agencies. The D.C. Dawgs (UGA alumni in Washington, D.C.) network continues to grow as students and the organizations that participate mutually benefit from this tour. Participating organizations recognize the talent from Grady graduates, and as a result of this opportunity, 15 students have received entry-level positions since the D.C. Agency Tour began six years ago.
Landing an internship is what many attendees of the D.C. Agency Tour hope for, but Elizabeth Howard, a junior public relations major, believes the tour is absolutely invaluable even if an internship is not the end result.
“I came home knowing more about public relations, public affairs and myself than I ever thought I could in one week. I learned what the type of places that I could see myself working, as well as the places that I probably wouldn't fit in at, and that is so important to know when starting to look for a career. I encourage everyone to apply for this trip. Even if I do not receive an internship offer, the week was well worth it, and I now know what I am truly capable of,” said Howard.
ABOUT THE JOHN E. DREWRY CHAPTER
With more than 250 active members, the John E. Drewry Chapter of PRSSA at the University of Georgia is the largest chapter in the world. It was named after Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication’s first dean and was founded at The University of Georgia in 1969. Dr. Betty Jones is the current faculty advisor, and Jessica Rossi serves as the professional advisor.