ADPR Connection is a major networking event sponsored by BBDO, Porter Novelli, PRSSA, and AdClub.  The event, planned and created by Grady students, allows students to network with professionals from the advertising and public relations fields. This is the third year the event has been put on.

I attended ADPR Connection in its entirety. Being a senior, I wanted to get the most out of this opportunity.

The event started off with a senior luncheon exclusively for paying members of PRSSA, AdClub, and IABC. I expected the luncheon to be packed with other UGA seniors but I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in and saw that each table had designated professionals to sit with us. My table had four other seniors and three professionals who are now Grady alumni. Two of the women work for Comcast Spotlight and the other is the PR Coordinator for Goodwill. They told us about their experiences and their time at the University of Georgia in the past.

After the wonderful meal, we were lucky enough to sit through a panel of professionals discussing the integration of advertising and PR hosted by BBDO and Porter Novelli.

After the luncheon was over, we headed to our first workshop. I attended “I Want to Be the Boss” which featured professionals in high-level management positions at Dodge Communications, VML, Nebo Agency, and JWA Public Communications. A key message I received from this workshop was the importance of having a mentor who can guide you before and during your career.

For the second round of workshops, I attended “Getting Your Foot in the Door” featuring professionals who are involved with the hiring process. The professionals gave us great advice for how to begin the job search process and how to ultimately get hired. We discussed interviewing, resumes, and LinkedIn profiles. While interviewing, they said it is crucial for candidates to be themselves. The interviewers have about an hour to really get to know the candidates so it is up to us to really show them our passions. Another point they made was that an interview is not just about marketing yourself but also interviewing the employer. Ask questions and decide if you would really see yourself working there. My favorite quote from the workshop was, “Fall in love with the company and it won’t ever feel like ‘work.’”

The career fair started once the workshops had come to a close. Career fairs give me a little bit of anxiety but I think I handled it well. I got to meet some really intelligent and professional people and tell them about what I like and what I want to do in the future. Everyone I spoke with was open to sharing his or her own experiences. I left the fair feeling confident and ready to send emails and add some folks on LinkedIn!

In conclusion, ADPR Connection was a great event that I am glad I attended. I think this event will get better every year. I have made some great connections and am excited to see where they go in the future.

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