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Jenna Carda, a corporate communication major at Black Hills State University, will graduate in May but already has a good idea of what to expect as she enters the world of public relations professionals.

Carda, from Miles City, Mont., recently spent a day learning the ropes from a representative of the Denver Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City as part of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Denver Shadow Day. Six students from BHSU attended the recent shadow day, an annual event sponsored by PRSA, the nation’s largest community of public relations and communications professionals. Carda was one of six BHSU students placed in public relations firms and other organizations in Denver to “shadow” professionals in the field and gain knowledge and experience of the job. Each department discussed their role with the firm as well as their day-to-day responsibilities.  

 “The PRSA Shadow Day in Denver is a great opportunity to meet professionals that are already doing the work you hope to be a part of in the future,” said Carda. “It is also an awesome way to gain connections and make yourself known to people in the industry.”  

Carda participated in the shadow day last year, but said she had a slightly different perspective this time. “It was different being further in my education and having the mindset of graduation this spring. It gave a new perspective of putting myself out there and really asking good questions to get a good concept of what I should be expecting in this line of work.”

This was the first year Jordynn Schmautz, corporate communication major from Belle Fourche, attended the PRSA event. She spent the day at DCP Midstream, an energy company in downtown Denver. “I think this opportunity definitely helped to prepare me for the future. I got out of the classroom scene and into the real world of PR. There is so much to learn, and I can’t wait to see where I go.”

Schmautz recommends all college students participate in at least one job shadow day to get a feel of the real world and what is to be expected. “I got to meet so many different departments of the company and see what all they do,” she said. “I had a great time, got to meet a lot of new people, and it was a great way to network yourself.”

Other students who attended the PRSA Shadow Day include: Jordan Dolph, mass communication major from Parker, Colo.; Taylor Guthmiller, corporate communication major from Spearfish; Samantha Gray, corporate communication major from Faith; and Gabriele Palubeckyte from Jurbarkas District Municipality, Lithuania.