The “Queen City” gave Old Dominion University PR students a royal welcome, including a special visit arranged by an ODU alumnus.

    On March 22-24, ODU’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) visited Charlotte, North Carolina on the organization’s annual spring trip. The three-day visit was planned by the executive board of PRSSA and funded by their parent chapter, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Hampton Roads.

    On Friday, March 23, the 13 students traveled to the Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers and met the Panthers’ sponsorship sales executive and ODU alum, Mike Mahoney ‘91. An ODU economics graduate who has worked for the Carolina Panthers for 13 years, following a sales career at Fed Ex and SAP that took him from New York, to Atlanta, to Charlotte. 

    Mahoney introduced the group to communications coordinator Will Bryan, and gave a detailed behind-the-scenes look at the stadium. 

    “ODU gave me such a great start to my career so it was a pleasure to host such a bright group of aspiring PR pros at Bank of America Stadium. I look forward to seeing where this group goes in the future,” said Mahoney. 

    Following the stadium tour, the group went to Taylor, a sports and entertainment PR and marketing firm. Account supervisor Joe Clarkson, a former PRSSA member in college, along with account coordinator Olivia Sorrells, gave the students a brief introduction to the company. Then they opened the floor to the club for questions. In a wide-ranging discussion, students gathered first-hand information to help them envision what a career in public relations could be like after they graduate from Old Dominion. 

    The day concluded with a networking dinner where Chloe Watson, a member of Charlotte’s PRSA young professionals organization offered insight about the transition from school to a professional PR position.

    “The only goals for this trip were for everyone to have fun, connect with each other and get a better sense of what public relations is like after graduation, from real professionals who have been in our shoes,” ODU PRSSA President Hang Tran said. 

    “Trips like these are what ODU PRSSA is all about - educating members, allowing them to network with professionals and giving them the tools to make the most of their college education."

    For more information about ODU’s PRSSA, please visit https://sites.wp.odu.edu/prssa/.

    Students snap photos at Bank of America Stadium

    ODU PRSSA members were hosted by Taylor, a Charlotte-based PR and marketing firm

    Mike Mahoney ’91, is presented ODU-themed gifts by PRSSA members Cierra Rector and Jalen Fuller

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