On the day of my Readiness Review I woke up in a cold sweat. The idea of going into a room and presenting a synopsis of my career, neatly three-hole punched and structured into a clever slide deck, left me paralyzed. The panel of my peers may as well have been a jury — out to cast judgment and squash any hope of advancing to the next phase.
I didn’t know my panelists. Perhaps if I did, there would be less trepidation involved. Suddenly I was alone in a conference room with three strange faces looking back at me.
I felt like Dorothy, cowering before the great and mighty Oz.
But, just like in the “Wizard of Oz,” behind this curtain of uncertainty, each of these faces hid a cheerleader. Each individual, with their unique blend of experience and the firsthand knowledge of the APR process, wanted to impart a bit of guidance my way.
Yes, they wanted me to demonstrate my abilities and my acumen of public relations knowledge. But they also wanted to make sure I’d done my homework. They wanted to ensure that when I walked out of the testing facility a few weeks later, I would walk out as an Accredited public relations professional.
They offered tips to strengthen my weaknesses and provided strategies for the exam. They didn’t need me to impress them. They simply wanted me to demonstrate my readiness.
I’m grateful to these individuals for taking time out for my professional development. After all, as terrifying as it is to walk into your Readiness Review, nothing is scarier than hitting “submit” on the final question of the APR exam. Knowing that three senior colleagues had given me their stamp of approval gave me the confidence to finish the process.
Christina M. Loznicka, APR, is a media relations consultant for Allstate Insurance Company. She successfully completed the APR process in November 2008.
Ready to accelerate your career? Join Michele L. Hujber, APR, Bob Saline, APR, Fellow PRSA and Jason S. Kirsch, APR for a a four-day intensive for candidates to prepare and advance though the Readiness Review and take the computer-based Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations at PRSA’s APR Boot Camp, Wednesday, August 26–Saturday, August 29, in New York, NY!
To learn more about Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), visit http://www.prsa.org/PD/apr/.
I have already begun studying as a first step toward achieving APR certification. However, I haven’t yet sent in my application–I expect I’ll take the plunge shortly. One great benefit of PRSA membership is the support for professionals heading in this direction via blog posts such as Christina’s or regional chapter efforts. Within the past few weeks, PRSA’s Colorado group (headed by Kim Sporrer, APR, Carissa McCabe, APR, and Elizabeth Jumel, APR) have proposed numerous resources for APR hopefuls such as myself. Joe
Joe, Kim Sporrer was also APR chair as I went through the process and was so supportive. I wish you much luck and cannot stress enough how valuable the APR process is. Please let me know if I can be of any help, as I’m also Colorado-based.