By Molly Olson, junior in public relations
As a member of Iowa State University’s [Barbara Riedesel Iverson Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)](/about/experience/clubs/public-relations-student-society-of-america/), I had the opportunity to attend the annual agency tours trip to Chicago. Here, our chapter visited [Agency H5](http://agencyh5.com/), [Motion PR](https://www.motionpr.net/) and the Chicago Bulls.
Here are a few things I learned from our trip to the Windy City:
1. Build and maintain relationships that matter.
Connections are very important in our field, but it’s even more important to maintain these connections throughout our careers. As you begin to gain experience in the field, remember to keep in touch with your past employers and colleagues. Not only can they serve as a reference, but they may also have connections at a company you are interested in working for one day.
Employees of all three of the organizations that our chapter visited mentioned the importance of having a professional mentor. Is there an instructor or supervisor you know who has experience in a particular area that you are interested in? Reach out and invite them to coffee, pick their brain and learn as much as you can from them.
2. Take advantage of the opportunity to share your passion for the industry as much as possible.
The unique part about the agencies we visited is they represent a variety of clients and industries, spanning from consumer, healthcare, real estate, hospitality and technology brands. As communicators, there’s always a time for us to highlight our interest and passion not only for public relations, but for other fields as well. Start a blog, create a YouTube channel, make a fun graphic using Photoshop or share articles related to your professional interests on LinkedIn. Get creative every day!
Agency H5 recently rebranded and developed five fundamental values, including kindness, creativity, integrity, passion and hustle. In order to get where you want to be, you have to work hard. Maintaining a strong work ethic will enable you to discover new opportunities, stand out among other candidates and help you make the most of your experiences in the public relations industry.
Each school year, PRSSA visits public relations agencies in Minneapolis, Chicago or Kansas City. The chapter meets bi-weekly on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. in Hamilton Hall Room 0169 during the spring 2018 semester