Years ago, I somehow got roped into the universe known as Auburn University. My first exposure to Southern women (I love them dearly, now), the pure freakish hyperactivity of SEC football, a motto that has nothing to do with the mascot (War Eagle, but it's a Tiger? What?) and PR students.
See, I did philosophy in school and worked in both student government and wrote for the college newspaper. That's how my track into PR started. Plus, well, my friend Kyle who told me I'd be good at PR (he also told me to start blogging - so, it's pretty much all his fault).
It all started, naturally, with one student saying she didn't like me. And that made me laugh, because she didn't like what I wrote on my blog. But from that moment, I got to meet Robert French (a man that's done more for PR and social media than 99.99 percent of the social media gurus that tend to give nothing back). And from him, I've mentored AU students, become good friends with a bunch of them and helped them out when I could with job leads and introductions.
And it comes down to this: we can all use mentors. I still talk to mine (like I noted in my first HAPPO post) and if it's not for the future practitioners, all this talk of PR or PR 2.0 (pshaw) or whatever is for nothing. If we don't give back and help the future generation grow, there won't be a future generation of PR.
So this time around, it's cut and dry. I'm highlighting people that I interact with on Twitter, and may or may not have been recommended to me by the various professors I speak with IRL and on Twitter. They are all vouched for, they're all looking for work, and I'd hire any of them in a minute. Because I've yet to be let down by one of the AU students, or the UGA students, or others I've mentored throughout the years (favorite little Spartans and all).
Plus, well, I am trying to build my ARMY OF EVIL PR STUDENTS ... one day, I'll figure out what to do with them.