Meet Shakayla Zoss, president of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and a communications intern for the Arkansas Fly Fishers.
Zoss is set to graduate with a degree in mass communications with a concentration in strategic communications and a minor in marketing. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will celebrate the graduation of Zoss and hundreds of other students during the 9:30 a.m. commencement ceremony Saturday, Dec. 14, at UA Little Rock’s Jack Stephens Center.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m originally from Fouke, Arkansas, and I graduated from Genoa Central High School. I will be graduating this fall with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication with an emphasis in strategic communication and a minor in marketing. Currently, I’m interning at BSR and the Arkansas Fly Fishers. I’ve also been a work-study student at UA Little Rock Children International since I started here in August 2016.
Why did you choose UA Little Rock?
The location of UA Little Rock is what really made me want to attend. I love living in the city, and UA Little Rock allowed me to be in the city without being too far away from home.
Why did you choose your major?
I chose my major because I’ve always loved writing and designing, and PR (public relations) allows me to be a storyteller by using both of those things.
How would your friends describe you?
My friends would probably describe me as a go-getter. They have been some of my best cheerleaders while I’ve been in school.
What were your favorite subjects?
Some of my favorite subjects have been the journalism, public relations, and applied communications classes that I have taken.
What activities were you involved in on campus?
Some activities that I’ve been in were the Public Relations Society of America, Kappa Tau Alpha, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and I’ve written a couple of articles for The Forum.
Who were some of your mentors?
My mentors have been Professor Barnes; Suzette Anderson, the business manager at UA Little Rock Children International; and Stephanie Jones, the volunteer coordinator at UA Little Rock Children International.
What is your favorite memory of UA Little Rock?
I think some of my favorite memories at UA Little Rock have been in PRSSA. It’s been really fun connecting with new students, networking, and planning events.
Can you elaborate on what it is that you do as president of PRSSA?
PRSSA at UA Little Rock is a professional development group open to all students in any major. We have workshops that help students work on different skills related to public relations, internships, and ambassadorships opportunities, networking events, scholarships, and a job board for when you graduate. As the president, I worked with the vice president to help recruit new students, our semesterly fundraiser, and plan events and meetings.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
My biggest plan is to find a full-time job within my field and start working towards getting my accreditation in public relations in the next five to six years.
How did you UA Little Rock help you succeed?
The professors at the School of Mass Communication are all so amazing. They are really sincere and want you to do well. I also loved that they had experience working in the fields that they were teaching, and the stories and advice that they would share.
What advice would you give to a new student?
Do as many internships as you can through school.
This story was compiled by Alex Brown.
Graduation photo of Shakayla Zoss by Hayden Valentine of Unparalleled Images.