I had moved to Denver in late 2007, when I began thinking about Accreditation. Candidates have a year to complete the process, but I didn’t want to start the clock ticking right away, so I spent some time familiarizing myself with the KSAs and the Universal Accreditation Board’s bookshelf. I got involved in Denver’s PRSA Chapter and asked existing APR professionals about their Accreditation experience. Soon, the Chapter set up a social network on Ning for APR practitioners and aspiring candidates, and I began scouring member profiles in search of those pursuing Accreditation.
A year-and-a-half had passed since I arrived in Colorado, and I applied to begin the Accreditation process. I developed responses to the Readiness Review questionnaire and joined a study group. Perfect.
Except that life intervened.
My wife announced she was pregnant and a former employer from back east asked if I wanted to return. I stayed in Denver for my Readiness Review presentation, but soon after I moved to Maryland. I didn’t have time to get involved in the local group — my Examination was scheduled for a month before the baby was due, and I was busy setting up a new home and learning how to be a parent.
I considered enrolling in the online study course, but my mad schedule made it easier to just crack the books in the late evenings and weekends, which I did for three months with my wife’s support. After I passed the exam, I celebrated by putting together a changing table.
Life happens. Studying for Accreditation helped me develop as a practitioner, improved my professional self-image, and generated support from colleagues and PRSA. As with any valuable pursuit, hard work is involved. But Accreditation is worth it. Everyone is busy, but it is possible to juggle some balls along the way.
Joe Kovacs, APR, is marketing director at Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman, CPAs in Bethesda, Maryland. He blogs at PR Dimensions, tweets at JoeKovacsAPR and can be found on LinkedIn.
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