Published on June 3, 2019, at 7:19 a.m.
by Mickey Kennedy.
Since 1981, a club has been growing at the University of Central Florida providing public relations students a place to learn, network and find internships together. The Quotes PR Club at UCF, now 80 members strong, is just the place for that.
According to its website, The Quotes PR Club’s mission is “to cultivate the professional development of future industry professionals who will lead in the field of communication.”
This stated goal is backed by the club’s president, Rachel Illardi, who said, “[Quotes’ mission] is to help students learn what they want to do in PR and what PR really is, since there are so many things so you can do, whether that is government or agency or nonprofit. We can give students a taste of that on a day-to-day basis; it really helps people learn what they want to do in the PR field while they are also networking with local professionals who can possibly get them a job when they graduate.”
The club’s mission is fulfilled through the events and workshops the club promotes and hosts both on campus and through in-state trips.
For example, this spring semester the group had a trip planned to Miami during which members were able to learn more about future opportunities in the South Florida region, as well as visit agencies and get a chance to network.
Illardi explained, “We found out that some of our members were from South Florida and wanted to get them networking with people from that area if they decided to go back home after graduation.”
Alyssa Harrell, the director of events for the club, helps plan these trips. She said, “We try to do at least one per semester if we can get the details organized and if there are opportunities in those cities that students are interested in.” She continued, “We are always interested in going to new places especially since we have a rotation of members with students graduating and new members joining the club.”
For just $250, which includes the hotel room as well as breakfast and lunch every day, students can take the three-day trip to Miami. Students will be able to meet with Kivvit and Norwegian Cruise Lines as well as take a visit to the Wynwood Art District.
The main event that The Quotes PR Club hosts every year is Intern Pursuit, similar to a job fair with companies from the area and across the state. Harrell helps put on this event, which features “around 80 employers [who] come to the student union and table and students can network and try to get internships. It is something we have been doing for around 10 years and is a super important part of our club.”
Employers who come to Intern Pursuit offer opportunities that range from government PR jobs with the city of Orlando to on-campus internships at UCF, such as with the college of business and even the athletics department.
The website gives short blurbs to inform members on what the employers are looking for, how many potential interns they are looking to hire, what type of work they would be doing, and if the internship includes any form of compensation.
To prepare for Intern Pursuit, the club puts together “Company Coffee Chats” to help its members learn about employers. Harrell said, “For Intern Pursuit we really want to prepare the students to be at the best when they come through the doors and talk to professionals. So we thought to do something like this [Company Coffee Chats] would help students feel more comfortable and know what questions to ask and also know where they think they would fit best in a company.”
The Quotes PR Club builds a space where young PR professionals can grow and develop their talents. Through strong leadership and key events, these students at the University of Central Florida can prepare for a future beyond campus before having to leave it.