Estimated Arrival Time: 11:00 pm
Actual Arrival Time (after my bathroom & snack breaks): 11:30 pm
Thursday night we made it to Chicago and checked into the downtown Holiday Inn. I was joined by fellow members of my Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter (PRSSA). Our District Conference was on Friday; we decided the late night drive beat an early morning one.
As soon as me and my roomies made it into room 201 we crashed (after watching some Friends, of course). Also, we set our alarms to the rise-and-shine time of 6:00am.
Friday came and somehow we managed to wake up and get put together in our best business casual. We even made time to run downstairs to the continental breakfast. If I’m being honest, my only motivation to do so was the smell of coffee.
Soon room by room of PRSSA members started coming down to join us. Once everyone was accounted for, we where able to get on the road towards our conference destination, DePaul University. But, this was not before a mini photoshoot (look at that skyline!).
We made it to the morning sessions and got to learn from some of the best-in-the-business PR Professionals. We also got a tour of one of the local PR agencies. Once noon-ish hit, it was time to break for lunch.
My PRSSA decided on this cute bistro/cafe to eat at. Most of us got deep dish pizza with a couple salads being the exceptions. When we first walked in, I enjoyed the aesthetic. After walking downstairs, I really adored it. I was able to snap a picture of this picture of Prince. Paul Natkin is the original photographer whom I must give credit to.
After lunch, we took in more of the conference. It concluded with a panel discussion on resume and interview tips.
I think the best piece of advice was that no matter what your experiences are, do not discount them. Sure, Baristas don’t do the same specific tasks as Social Media Managers…But, they do both work with people and have to handle stress. If you define what skills you’ve gained, you can sell them to an employer. This is something I will definitely remember next time I’m applying for a job.
With the conference concluded, we had to see The Bean and a couple other spots before we drove back home.
The walk to Millennium Park was a long one; I was increasingly thankful throughout the day that I wore flats and not my Jeffery Campbell’s. My dramatics aside, we survived the walk and wind and it was very worth it. Something about the giant metallic bean is kinda charming (or maybe it’s just all the cute couples around it, who knows?).
After my PRSSA was blinded from all the picture flashes, we hit the pavement again. We saved the best for last and checked out the largest Starbucks in the world! I was in absolute awe. If you have been reading my blog for some time you will know my love for the coffee giant. If you are new here… Hello, nice to meet you, let’s grab a cup of Joe on my Starbucks Gold Card.
The Reserve Roastery is four levels of goodness and aroma. They have a bourbon coffee bar and cases of sweets that stretch along the brewing stations. There is so much that I still need to explore there, but I am happy I was able to briefly tour each level.
I got myself a Grande Nitro Cold Brew and then it was time to get back on the tollway. It was at just about the time we had left for Chicago the day before. We cruised through the lights and waved goodbye to the skyline. Tired was an understatement, but we were satisfied that we had made the most out of our day.
Cheers Chicago, I hope to see you soon.