PRSSA National President speaks to UF PRSSA Members about “What PRSSA Means”

PRSSA National President Emma Finkbeiner spoke to UF PRSSA Members September 14 on “What PRSSA Means” to her and what it should mean to members.

Emma attended college at Northern Michigan University; a small college in the upper peninsula of Michigan, which had a PRSSA chapter of about 25 students at the time.

She made a point to explain to members that she joined her PRSSA chapter having no idea what she was doing; she just wanted to get involved.

At the end of her first year, she ran and was elected to be Chapter President of NMU’s PRSSA. Even further, she had a drive in her to bid and become elected National Publications Editor for Progressions and Forum.

At the end of her reign at NMU, she couldn’t get enough. While attending DePual University in Chicago for her masters degree in public relations and advertising; Emma is serving as the National President of PRSSA.

“The number one lesson I can give you is to work hard and stay involved,” Finkbeiner said. “I got here because of PRSSA”.

Finkbeiner drove into attendee’s minds the importance of attending National and Regional Conferences. “The connections you make there are going to get you really far,” she said.

National Conference is an excellent way attend career fairs, workshops and to form and nurture organic relationships with professionals in the public relations industry.

“I cannot stress how important networking will be in your future,” she said. Finkbeiner reminisced about the time when the CEO of GolinHarris asked to meet her! That moment knocked her off her feet.

Finkbeiner presented the idea of “servant leadership.”

“The servant-leader is servant first… it begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.” - Robert K. Greenleaf

Finkbeiner brought this quote to member’s attention to reinforce the fact that to become a leader, you must get involved first. One cannot happen with the other. So, dive in!

For members, whether it’s attending conferences, writing for UF PRSSA’s blog, becoming a member of one of the committees or connecting with the mentor/mentee program, PRSSA is an incredible opportunity for students studying the public relations field.


“The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is the foremost organization for students interested in public relations and communications. We seek to advance the public relations profession by nurturing generations of future professionals. We advocate rigorous academic standards for public relations education, the highest ethical principles and diversity in the profession.” - PRSSA Website.

Written by: Sydney Denninger