DePaul’s PRSSA Career Opportunities: Attending the

PRess Play Midwest Conference

DePaul’s PRSSA (the Public Relations Student Society of America) chapter has been a great resource for me during the past two years. This winter, I was able to attend PRess Play, the PRSSA Midwest Conference which was hosted by our chapter. It is a two-day event where you are able to access incredible opportunities for your career. It was a whirlwind, a ton of fun, and honestly one of the top events I have been able to experience throughout college. With this, I have a few main benefits of attending this event to offer up!

1. Expansive Networking

Besides New York City, Chicago is one of the top Public Relations hubs in the nation. We have hundreds of agency opportunities in a 1-mile radius, making the job search far more convenient post-grad. Since there are so many options, networking really comes in handy to stand out. The PRess Play conference allowed us to network with professionals from multiple agencies, from corporate roles, and other divisions of staff within the broader communications field. It was actually crazy how many different networking opportunities there were; we could network during lunch, during the social reception, and even after the planned events.



DePaul students smile in picture at Edelman- a Communications Agency in Chicago during PRess Play Midwest Conference.
PRSSA students tour Zeno Group's office in Chicago during PRess Play Midwest Conference 2024

2. Touring Local Companies

My favorite part of PRessPlay was the time spent on site visits. What is so unique is that the visits extended beyond solely Public Relations agencies; we could tour many types of teams at different large companies and more Chicago household names such as the White Sox and Shedd Aquarium. It is difficult to find your best company fit based solely on pictures and descriptions online so this really helped me both broaden my options for types of companies, but also identify the feel of potential career environments.  

I toured Zeno Group, a large Public Relations and Integrated Communications agency located in the Loop for my first visit. I was really impressed by the company culture here; everyone was so positive, welcoming, passionate, and comfortable expressing their ideas. The product portfolios were impressive in every division of the team, so we could explore the vast span of Zeno in a more intimate way. 

My second site visit was at Molson-Coors. We spoke with professionals from the Innovation sect of Marketing at the company, which was an opportunity I never would have found before this visit. We explored the office, their brand portfolio, and the unique benefits of working in-house rather than at an agency. I learned so much from this visit and it completely reshaped my vision of what a career within PR could look like. 

3. Vital Industry Discussions

The first day of PRess Play was geared towards strategic panels with pros from the PR world. Here, we were able to learn about their career experiences through lenses including Corporate vs Agency work, DEI&B Efforts, and Entertainment PR. These chats offered an inside scoop into what our futures could entail and the landscape of professional life in Chicago. I loved being able to experience these panels and interact through Q&A since we could glean insights that aren’t always commonly discussed in classes. Although my courses have been hands-on within the PRAD program, new perspectives are always valuable opportunities to learn.

DePaul Students pose for a photo in the reception for PRess Play Midwest Conference.
Student Poses in business casual in preparation for DePaul's PRess Play PRSSA Conference.

4. Inspiring Career Goals

DePaul has one of the best PR programs in the nation, so we do have some advantages in our curriculum and clearer opportunities for careers. Still, it is hard to decide where you want to be right out of college. Attending PRess Play has helped inspire me to explore my options for my future- backed with the support of networking connections who are eager to advise and guide my career path. I am excited to attend again next year and see what else PRSSA has in store!

Although any PRSSA members are invited to attend the Midwest Conference, being a student at DePaul is far more accessible since the conference takes place on campus and around the Loop area of Chicago. You have the opportunity to join a planning committee and can even attend as a non-PRSSA student, so I definitely recommend checking out this opportunity if you are even remotely interested in a career within PR and Communications! 


Learn about PR at DePaul here!