The second annual Meet the Professionals event, hosted by the Public Relations Student Society of Niagara University (PRSSN) and NU’s communication studies department took place April 6 in Bisgrove Hall.

This event invites employers on to campus, and encourages students to attend in order to network with professionals, learn about potential career and/or internship opportunities, hear about helpful advice on professional and business etiquette, and potentially receive connections to other professionals.

“The Meet the Professionals event is more personalized to specific majors,” said Jennifer Gallo, PRSSN president. “The best part is that students can get one-on-one time with professionals.”

Last year, 10 employers were present at Meet the Professionals; this year’s event drew 19. Employers included Alt Rock 107.7 FM, Community Missions of Niagara Frontier, Gelia Marketing Communications, the New York State Parks, Niagara Gazette, Niagara Falls City School District, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, and many more.

Students agreed that the event was important and helpful to those not only seeking out jobs and internships, but also for students who need professional advice or who want to make more connections with real-world professionals.

“It makes you go out of your comfort zone and look forward to your future,” said Shaina Pumputis, a junior communication studies major. “The focus on marketing and communications is very helpful for students in those areas of study.”

Not only is the event helpful to students, but it’s also beneficial for the professionals to seek out young adults who are preparing to enter the professional world.

“There’s always a great mixture of individuals at these events,” said Judie Glaser, public relations coordinator for the Niagara Falls City School District. “Whether that mixture be generational or multicultural, everyone has a unique set of skills that he or she brings to the table.”

Along with complimentary snacks and refreshments at the event, the professionals brought along free gifts for students who visited their table. The free gifts were thoughtful, but the advice that the professionals gave to students was the main takeaway.

“The advice I would give to young adults who are making their way into the professional world would be to learn how to communicate,” said Angela Berti of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. “Master communication, make eye contact, follow up with people, and take new opportunities.”

Along with PRSSN members who attended, Meet the Professionals drew in more students from outside of the club than the previous year. On-campus events like these are important and helpful for students who attend. After all, one opportunity may lead to another.

Article and photos by NU students Brooke Powell and Emily Kernin, respectively. Powell and Kernin are members of PRSSN.