My “Integrated” Experience



I have to say, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I learned I would be working #INTEGRATE2016. I thought that maybe it would be a more intense version of a Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) National Conference – but as it turns out, it was so much more.

Once I got over the hump of having to wake up at 5:30 a.m., and be somewhere at 6:30 a.m., it was a whirlwind of energy and activity that reminded me why I chose the Integrated Marketing Communications program at West Virginia University. Not only are my coworkers, faculty and student body intelligent, friendly and passionate, they are like a second family. Working an event is hard – but when you work with great people, it makes the work fun.

As for the conference itself, the speakers’ passion and knowledge were unparalleled. They gave amazing insight into not only the industry, but the WVU IMC program as well. When a professor’s enthusiasm not only matches but further ignites yours, it reaffirms your decision in your field. That’s exactly, at only three weeks into the program, how I felt during my first day of the conference.

Even as I worked the conference and managed social media during the sessions, I was learning and having a fantastic time. The sessions I attended were not only captivating, but entertaining and full of personality. It was a great experience to finally be able to meet, face to face, and connect with professors (and other students) I have only been able to interact with via email and discussion boards.

I learned from Matthew Pye about sweetening your market efforts to stand out; was motivated to do more and think outside the box by Geno Church; and Whitney Drake taught me about turning blunders into homeruns through Chevy’s #TechnologyandStuff. I didn’t realize how much I had left to learn until I walked out of the sessions I attended. It’s a fascinating and humbling experience.

To say attending INTEGRATE is crucial is an understatement. I not only learned so much, but I was able to engage with faculty and professors and gain a better understanding of their teaching methods. If I get the chance to attend another INTEGRATE conference, I will be there in a heartbeat – and I encourage my fellow classmates to do the same!





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