The Gift of SPJ

As the Christmas weekend draws near, I can’t help but reflect on this time last year. As a senior at my university, I still had one final semester to survive, and average college tenure does not come with a lot of extra money at hand. So rather than asking my parents for an iPod or designer clothes last Christmas, I asked them for a renewal check to continue my membership with SPJ.

Why? Because I could see the greater value in the professional resources and opportunities SPJ could provide me. As the student chapter president at Ole Miss, the experiences I gained allowed me to not only further enhance my writing skills, but also my leadership, research, graphic design and organization skills. I would need all of these attributes for my future career in public relations and media work.

But all the accomplishments during my collegiate career were minor in comparison for the plans SPJ still had in store for me. Within a month of graduating with my bachelor’s degree last May, I received a dream job offer as the Society’s communications coordinator, a post-graduate internship for media, marketing and public relations efforts.

My job has helped me strengthen my writing, marketing, social media and media relations techniques in both broad and specific ways where average internships are often very limited. I’ve discovered fun, innovative ways to expand my creative skills. SPJ has also introduced me to the wonderful culture that is Indianapolis and allowed me to travel to Las Vegas for the 2010 Convention and National Journalism Conference.

Today, I know of May 2010 journalism and PR graduates who have not found a job. Because of that, I feel blessed and I hope you take away this one lesson: We make our own opportunities in life, and when we believe in them, they often have a way of taking us further than we truly imagined. SPJ is doing that for me.

It’s been an incredible honor to serve the 8,000-strong membership of SPJ over the past few months. Thank you, members and fellow journalists, for all you do for SPJ, the profession and the public interest. Have a happy and safe holiday season.

Where will your SPJ membership take you this year?

Andrew M. Scott is the communications coordinator for SPJ Headquarters. He has been an SPJ member since 2008. Get to know Andrew more on Twitter: @PRMillennial.


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