Membership Spotlights: Annie Himsworth & Alee DeRenzo

October has brought our chapter wonderful opportunities and members who were excited to enjoy all we had to offer. Meet our two latest membership spotlights- Alee DeRenzo & Annie Himsworth!

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Annie Himsworth

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 Alee DeRenzo

Annie Himsworth is a Junior majoring in Communication Studies on the Advertising & Entrepreneurship track. Annie is from Trappe, Pennsylvania and transferred to Temple University from the University of Louisville. 

Alee DeRenzo is Junior/Senior (Transfer) student from Allentown, Pennsylvania. Alee is a Strategic Communication Major with a PR Concentration. 

Here are some questions I asked to get to know Annie & Alee better: 

Why do you love PRSSA?

Annie- I wanted to learn what public relations is all about and I thought it would be an awesome networking opportunity.

Alee- I love PRSSA because it is a great way to connect and network with people who have the same interests as me while also providing me with professional experiences in the surrounding Philadelphia area.

Which committee are you in?

Annie- Community Relations and Fundraising. So far I helped prepare for the bake sale and I worked the table with several other members.

Alee- Community Relations and Fundraising. I do a lot of writing for PRowl and by joining this committee I am able to immerse myself in the Temple community as well as the greater Philadelphia community. The bake sale was a great success and all proceeds went to Philabundance, in support of their food bank which serves the Philadelphia and Delaware Valley regions.

PRSSA events you’ve participated in?

Annie- I go to the fundraising events like Blaze Pizza, I helped with the bake sale and I attend weekly and committee meetings.

Alee- I baked for our Philabundance bake sale and helped work it during Temple’s homecoming week. I walked the AIDs walk, which brings awareness to the Philadelphia AIDs epidemic and I am also in the process of figuring out the logistics behind a supplies drive for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.

Other Temple organizations you are in?

Annie- I am also involved with Athletes Helping Athletes, Love Your Melon and I made the club field hockey team.

Alee- I am a Junior Account Executive at PRowl Public Relations.

Dream Job?

Annie- I am not sure what I exactly want to do yet, but I was thinking about working in a marketing or advertising corporations. I want to find out more about non-profit organizations as well.

Alee- To be in charge of the public relations and digital content management for a company within the beauty industry. I have a passion for makeup and PR so in a perfect world, I would be in a position that satisfies both of those passions.

Favorite social media platform?

Annie- I am in the process of making a LinkedIn. To stay in touch with family members and friends,  I have a Facebook and an Instagram.

Alee- Twitter is my favorite way to get the news and keep up with circulating memes, while Pinterest is the place where I plan out all the unrealistic meals and organization tactics I think I will have time to accomplish!

Coolest place you’ve visited?

Annie- I visited my old teammate that is from Madrid for 3 weeks this past summer. We traveled to Barcelona, Paris and all around Madrid with her family. I immediately fell in love with their culture and cannot wait to visit again.

Alee- I went to Turks and Caicos this past summer and loved it! It was probably the most beautiful place I have ever been, but I think my favorite place is San Francisco. I am a city girl through and through and I fell in love with the lifestyle and culture in San Francisco when I visited with my family a few years back.

Congratulations to our latest membership spotlights! Be sure to follow Annie & Alee on social media.


Choosing the Right Electives

Spring 2018 class registration is around the corner for most of us, and it’s hard to decide which classes to take as electives when you’ve fulfilled most of your requirements. I finished my last Gen-Ed a year ago, and this made me consider which electives I deemed important to take in the short time I have left.

The following tips are a few things to keep in mind when choosing classes that can add spice to a resume, and help you in the future.

 Pursue an Interest

Have you been interested in learning about a topic for a while, but haven’t been able to dedicate time to it? Take a class in it! Not only will you learn more about this topic and make it applicable, but you’ll have the chance to meet other people who are interested as well. This can lead to better connections, possible friendships and make you a more diverse candidate for a job or internship. I’m currently taking an introductory course in Sociology, and my understanding of much of our socialization has improved.


Think Outside of the Box


One of the best things about college is the variety of topics that are offered each semester. Student are free to take courses on any subject! Use this to your advantage. Courses range from physical education, professional development and health/wellness just to name a few. Taking a diverse range of courses can enhance your chosen field, reveal a new path or help you develop a skill you didn’t think was possible.


Be Certain It’s Relevant


While it’s important to pursue different interests, keep in mind each department has extra courses dedicated to internships and other skills needed in your profession. These courses also have people in different levels of your field or related fields, which can lead to you finding a mentor or even becoming one. Whichever position you find yourself in, you’re bound to learn about yourself in ways you otherwise wouldn’t have.

College is essentially about building skills, networking, and learning information. Electives, like required courses, give the opportunity and space for you to improve upon skills you already have and to learn new ones. Take each course with the intent of bettering yourself in any way you deem fit, and success will find you before you know it.

This blog post was written by Kayla Boone, Director of Social Media.

You’re Not Too Cool for Etiquette

Etiquette is defined as a set of unwritten rules that apply to social situations, professional workplaces and relationships. Many students may think they’re too young, not experienced enough or it’s outdated to uphold basic etiquette with peers or even in professional settings. Specifically, in public relations, everybody talks, so it is key to stay in good-standing. Although this is not an extensive list, it is a guaranteed great start.

From personal experience and my colleagues’ stories, more and more students lack these vital qualities. I believe it’s necessary to act as transparently and respectfully as possible, no matter who your audience is – other students, professors or employers. By following these helpful tips, you’re sure to impress your friends and interviewers while making an equally memorable impression.

  1. Introduce yourself with your full name. For example, I’m Marissa, but Marissa who? Marissa Tomei? No, Marissa Reale. How will they know how to pronounce my name? How do they know what I go by? How will they connect with me on social or LinkedIn if they don’t know who to search for? Aside from those concerns, stating your first and last name appears more prepared.
  2. Stand and shake hands firmly. Nothing is worse than a dead-fish handshake. It’s awkward and makes it look like you’re afraid to meet the other person half-way with their greeting. Be proud of who you are and represent yourself in a strong manner.
  3. Say thank you. Say ‘thank you’ if you ask someone for help, and especially if they help make a connection for you that could lead to a job. If someone is willing to risk their credibility and recommend you for a position, thank them and update them if it resulted in employment. Don’t forget to send follow-up emails or written notes in a timely manner.
  4. Don’t just talk to someone when you need If you do, they will feel used and frustrated by someone only asking for repeated favors. Email just to say ‘hi’ or plan to meet-up. Also, ask if they need help anything. More often than not, they will take you up on it. Nourish the professional relationship like you would a good friendship.
  5. Be polite and pursue networking relationships. Our fellow students will be our fellow colleagues soon, so it is best to start networking as soon as possible. Seek out upperclassmen for guidance and advice. With professionals, don’t have the “one and done” mindset. Meet professionals numerous times and establish a working relationship. Like their updates on LinkedIn, or ask them to coffee.

These age-old tips will never go out of style. My last tip is to not guess. You never know what connection or conversation may lead to something. Opportunities arise in places you may least expect them to. Create a respectful environment and your personal brand will shine through to lead to long-lasting industry relationships and friendships.


This post was written by Vice President, Marissa Reale.

‘Tis the Season for Spring Internship Hunting


Believe it or not, the fall semester will be over in a blink of an eye. It may sound crazy, but many students have already started looking for spring internships for next semester. While it may seem overreaching, this is actually prime time for students to start looking. As you think about your internship quest, be sure to keep the following tips and tricks in mind before and after stepping in for an interview.


Clean up your social media


Before applying for any internship, you should ALWAYS take time to look at your social media. Browse through your feed and Google yourself – whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or any other social media sites accessible to the public. Ask yourself…”Would I feel comfortable having my future employer look at this?” Find time to clean up your profiles, such as photos, professional summaries and your experience list. Before interviewing you, employers will often conduct a quick Google search to get a good sense of who you are and your personal brand.


Target the search


Applying to internships can be difficult when you don’t necessarily know what field you want to gain experience in. Take time to familiarize yourself with different industries and companies that interest you. From agencies to corporate and nonprofit, the choices seem endless. Compile a list of internships you’re interested in, and jot down a few reasons why that specific position interests you.  


Ask for help from fellow peers


Being a member of PRSSA is a wonderful opportunity because your peers may have already had multiple internships in industries you’re interested in. Take time to ask your PRSSA peers about their experiences and what internships they recommend. Ask them to grab coffee or send a quick email with questions you may have. Sometimes speaking with your peers can help you connect the dots, and we want to help!


Email like a pro

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While some internships have online applications, other employers will ask you to email your resume. Sending the first email can be intimidating, but here are a few tips to keep in mind before hitting “send.”

  1. Have a professional introduction. Always open the email with “Dear Ms/Mr. __________.”
  2. Introduce yourself. Three key areas of your introduction are your first and last name, what school you attend and your major.
  3. Name Drop. If someone from the company recommended you, briefly mention them in the email (only if that person gives permission!)
  4. Don’t talk about your experience too much. You aren’t summarizing your entire resume through email, but be sure to mention why that position is a good fit for you.
  5. Close with a call to action. End the email in a way that would initiate a call to action on the employer’s end. (For example, “Thank you and I’m looking forward to discussing this opportunity further!”)
  6. Have a professional closing. Sincerely, Marissa Piffer OR Best, Marissa Piffer. 
  7. Review your resume. Before sending your resume in, have your professors, mentors or the career center take a look at it for any suggestions or feedback.
  8. Send your resume as a PDF. 99 percent of the time, employers will not open any attachments from new senders if it isn’t a PDF.
  9. Have your email peer-edited. Before hitting send, have someone else take a look at your email draft. No matter how many times you read over your own writing, it is easy to miss those spelling/grammar errors. The first email to a potential employer is always a serious first impression, so make it count!


Here is a sample email where I’ve put these tips to use when applying to my current internship:


Sample email


Do your research before the interview


After sending your resume to an employer, the best outcome is being asked to come in for an interview. Before going into the interview, make sure you are knowledgeable about the company. You don’t have to know every single detail, but show that you took the time to familiarize yourself with the company and the people who work there. When the employer asks if you have any questions, make sure to ask specific questions about the company that shows you did a little research.

Interview Tip: My padfolio (pictured below) becomes my best friend during interviews. In my padfolio, I typically write down some talking points I can bring into the interview after doing some research on the company. Having a padfolio is also great to carry around writing samples, extra resumes, business cards and take notes during your interview. 


Overall, it is important to remember that interviews are just conversations! Don’t sweat the small stuff and be yourself.


Follow up

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Whether or not you think the interview went well, following up with an employer is always best practice. A simple “thank you” can go a long way, and will certainly help you stick out from the crowd.  A good time frame to send a “thank you” email or note is typically 1-3 days, so make it timely!
This blog post was written by Chapter President, Marissa Piffer

Junior Year Internship Struggles

Junior year is often the crunch time for getting internships and starting to realize which PR career path to choose for the future. This time is filled with a lot of anxiety and feelings of doubt about what the future has in store. Friends and peers are racking in the internships, while I sit back and watch as they gain valuable experience. Clearly, there is something wrong and I need to jump on the first internship opportunity I see…Wrong!

While I watch my peers and friends getting internships, I remind myself I am only a first semester junior. I have time to apply for an internship to gain more experience. Also, I take a moment to realize the role I have as Secretary of PRSSA. Sometimes it is easy to forget the great skills and experiences I gain from being active in this organization.

The anxiety is present at all times to find the greatest internship. However, after watching and listening to my peers and friends, I’ve learned that great internships don’t just appear. An internship at a big corporate PR firm could be the worst time of my life, while a small lifestyle agency could gain me long-lasting skills and experience.

I know this is a hard time and transition period for any Junior in college, but throwing myself a bone and realizing I have great opportunities without an internship allowed me to shed my anxiety. I will keep working hard and stay in an active leadership position in PRSSA! I know that when I am ready, I will find a good internship. In the meantime, I will relish my time as Secretary of PRSSA.

By: Jeremy Rives, PRSSA Secretary




Stand Up and Stand Out

Standing out in a large student organization chapter can be difficult, especially when it consists of members who have similar majors. I joined Temple’s Chapter of PRSSA in the spring of my freshman year. I was in awe of the e-board and how they seemed to know each member, but I wondered how each individual member knew who one another was and how some people just seemed to “shine” in a room full of people who had a passion for PR and communicating. Later that year I was recognized as an outstanding new chapter member, I received a member spotlight the following semester, and was recognized with my mentor, Clarissa, for outstanding mentor/mentee pair. At the time I wasn’t sure why I was recognized, but looking back, I think I know why.

Here are some tips I’d offer to my freshman self about standing out in a large chapter….

Ask Questions

The biggest mistake I made freshman year was not asking questions out of fear of looking like I didn’t know what I was doing. I later realized everyone has questions- freshman or senior! As an e-board member now, I love when peers (under or upperclassman) ask me questions. Not only can I help them or send them to someone who can help them, but their questions have helped me! I’ve been asked questions about writing that I didn’t know the answer to and we learned together. Experiences like these have helped me to make connections with fellow PRSSA members as well as provided a learning opportunity for both of us.


Show Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm never goes unnoticed. Whether you are nodding your head during a guest speaker presentation or actively participating in a workshop, fellow members and the executive board always notice those who are excited to be a chapter member. Another thing I would have reminded myself is “I’m paying for great resources- I should make the most of them!”. I forgot to check the PRSSA website for writing or scholarship opportunities. Looking into these resources and actively participating make you a better member and you will benefit from all your membership has to offer you!


Be Observant

Most of what I learned as a PRSSA member was by watching others. Being observant helps you to strengthen your skills by directly watching others. You can pick up on subtle things like shaking a guest speaker’s hand or larger things like introducing yourself to a fellow member. Watching others can help to make new things less intimidating, and you will thank yourself for taking the time to observe what others get out of their memberships.


Although it can be intimidating at first, trying to stand out in a large student organization will not only help you to be a better member, but you will get recognized for all of your hard work. Investing your time in a pre-professional organization will help you to further your education outside of the classroom and can help you to make connections to use after you graduate. So remember, stand up and stand out!!

This blog post was written by Director of Public Relations, Joei DeCarlo.




Never Too Late to Get Involved

Hey everyone! If you’re like me, then you probably feel that this semester is already flying by. Midterms are almost here, clubs are in full swing, and Halloween is just around the corner. Despite the speed that Fall 2017 is moving at, there is still so much time left in this semester (and year) to make the most of. One of the best ways to make the most of this time is to join a club.

If you have always wanted to join something, now is the time! The first and most clichéd advice you get when starting freshman year is to get involved. Personally, when I was a freshman that was really hard advice to take. Getting involved my first semester was truly out of my comfort zone, and it took a little while for me to adjust to college. I signed up for a couple clubs at the club fair, got a bunch of emails, showed up to a meeting or two and then stopped going. Then as time moved on, I realized I still had an interest in these clubs, but I conjured up this idea that it was too late to join.

As the year passed, I realized it truly does not matter when you start getting involved—as long as you do at some point. Since then, I ended up transferring schools and was ready for a do-over. I made a real effort to get involved and joined PRSSA, PRowl and a sorority. Through these organizations, I have gained great friends, honed valuable pre-professional skills and learned that I am capable of being busy while managing my time appropriately.

To all new PRSSA freshman, congrats to getting out there the first semester and joining an organization! For some people, it really can take courage to get out there—I was one of those people. And regardless of what class you are, if there is something you still want to join, try to stretch that comfort zone a little further. We only have (about) four years to be a part of these great clubs Temple has to offer, so you might as well make the most of it.

By: Grace Hanlon

Member Spotlight: Karissa Gornick

Meet our first member spotlight of the fall 2017 semester- Karissa Gornick!


Karissa is a sophomore majoring in Strategic Communication (Public Relations Concentration) with a minor in Political Science and a certificate in Mandarin Chinese.

Hailing from Yardley, Pennsylvania, Karissa has been a member of PRSSA for two semesters and is a member of the newsletter committee.



Here are some questions I asked Karissa to get to know her better:

Why do you love PRSSA?

I love PRSSA because we’re all connected by Klein and have similar interests with what we want to do in our lives. It’s so empowering seeing all of these people around me who want to pursue their passions through their majors. PRSSA is a space I feel welcomed in.

What PRSSA Events have you participated in so far?

PPRA’s Networking 101. I made connections with PR professionals that without PRSSA I otherwise never would have made. It was an amazing opportunity, but even more amazing was how much closer I felt to the PRSSA members who went, too. I felt like I definitely bonded with the group of girls I went with because of how nervous yet excited we all were.

Are you part of any other student organizations?

I’m a member of the Iota Chi chapter of Alpha Xi Delta

What is your dream job?

My dream in life is to evoke social change. Ideally, I’d love to work for UN Women’s strategic communications team. Everyday wouldn’t feel like work because gender equality is something I’m very passionate about.
What is your favorite social media platform?

Instagram. I love getting to see highlights of my friends’ lives and share moments of my life, as well.

What is the coolest place you’ve traveled to?

Oberammergau, Germany. It was like a beautiful town straight out of a storybook.

Follow Karissa on social media! 

Instagram- @karirigornick       Facebook & LinkedIn- Karissa Gornick

This spotlight interview was conducted by Joei DeCarlo, Director of Public Relations.