Articles

UNA STUDENT MACKENZIE COTTLES REFLECTS ON SPRF CONFERENCE

I have always been a behind-the-scenes kind of person. Don’t get me wrong, I love attending events, parties, and conferences, but there is always a side of me that is wondering how things are set up. I recall getting to a concert in Nashville early and having time to spare before the concert began. I sat there and began thinking through the process that had to happen for all the stage to be designed, the intricacy of the lighting design, and the team of people who promoted the concert.

When I was asked to intern for the SPRF Conference in New Orleans, I was very excited for the opportunity. This internship allowed me to receive all the benefits of the conference while also learning about what it takes to make the conference a success.

Part of my responsibilities included assisting with the silent auction. We had to contact potential donors, compile a list of contributions, and create the bid sheets. Another part of my responsibilities was helping to put together the evaluations for each session of the conference and the overall conference. I designed the session evaluations, constructed the conference evaluation on SurveyMonkey, input the data from the session evaluations, and tabulated the results.

Every part of this corresponds to a potential part of a job as a public relations practitioner. Learning the nuts-and-bolts of surveys and analyzing how people responded will most likely be something I have to do in the future. Designing specific kinds of documents and organizing events, like the silent auction, are also activities I expect to perform in the future. I had the chance to network with professionals and learn more about this career from the best-of-the-best. Overall, this was an amazing learning experience and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to intern and learn all that I did.