The Student News Site of Northern Michigan University

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

Meet the Staff
Megan Voorhees
Assistant News Editor

The North Wind Editorial Sessions
About us

The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Students need to experience the world

Last week, as I walked down E. Executive Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., there was so much history and so many tourists everywhere that it was hard to take it all in. To the right was the White House and straight ahead was the Washington Monument. Down the street I heard sirens and saw cops blocking the road, so my friend and I ran down the sidewalk toward the commotion. Traffic cleared and a bellhop standing outside a hotel told us we had just missed the president leaving the White House.

I’ve seen such scenes of the presidential limousine and motorcade on CNN and certainly hear about the president’s movements all the time, but to be where it was happening was surreal.

I was in Washington, D.C., to attend the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) National Conference. The four-day conference was held at the beautiful Wardman Park Marriott, an upscale hotel. I attended sessions hosted by professionals in my field such as John Ingoldsby, president of IIR Sports and Entertainment, Inc., and Paul McGuire, executive vice president of network communications for The CW Network. The series of sessions ended with a job fair and a chance to land an internship at one of the various businesses.

I networked with PR professionals and got insight into what I want to do in life and with my degree in entertainment and sports promotion when I graduate next winter. This once-in-a-lifetime experience happened because I got involved with the local chapter of PRSSA, one of many on campus organizations that have similar trips for their members.

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Other groups, organizations, and classes have opportunities like this such as the United Nations Conference in Toronto, the Shakespeare festival in Stratford, Ontario and study abroad. I had this chance thanks to PRSSA, but that’s not the only student organization at NMU that gets to travel and have these life experiences.

Of course, we got a chance to see the nation’s capital when we weren’t at conference sessions. While there, I looked through exhibits at the National Archives. I saw pictures of WWI taken by combat photographers, got a closer look into the documents of the Watergate scandal, and heard recordings of past presidents such as John F. Kennedy talking about the Cuban Missile Crisis.

After looking at the exhibits in the public vaults, I ventured over to the rotunda of the archives where the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights were right in front of me. These pieces of old parchment made more of an impact on me than I can describe. I was viewing history up close and gained more of an appreciation for history than I ever had in school. For the first time it all seemed so real.

This year, our group decided to travel to the conference by an Amtrak train, which was an experience in itself. It took us 24 long hours to get from Milwaukee to Washington, D.C., and 21 hours back, but the view of Eastern America was amazing. The first night, I slept on the floor of the lounge car rather than on the cramped seats. I woke up in the middle of the night, sat up and saw downtown Cleveland, Ohio, all lit up. The skyline was gorgeous and looked like a postcard picture. The next day we were traveling through the hills of Virginia and West Virginia with towns embedded in the hills. The houses looked like they were just sticking out of the mountainside.

For me, this trip to D.C. has made a lasting impression on my life and I would like to thank Jim Cantrill, Wally Niebauer, Bill Bernard, Terry Seethoff and Michael Broadway for their support in making this trip possible.

I strongly encourage others to take advantage of opportunities similar to mine. To those students who are already in an organization who haven’t traveled, I suggest looking into it to see if there’s a possibility. Whether it’s to a conference or to workshops, I recommend trying to go, because it will only further your career aspirations and help you network with professionals in your area of study. Regardless of your chosen career path, networking can always help your career.

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