I’m at a five-star hotel in Philadelphia, it’s 8 a.m. and I’m making a beeline for the coffee. The other caffeine addicts and I are here for the National Conference of the Public Relations Student Society of America. It’s officially our first day here at the PRSSA and we’re all eagerly anticipating the rest of our day with the amazing presenters. We all gathered in the ballroom that has since scaled down from the Gatsby nightclub to a breakfast hub. We soon make our way to the first session of the day, just a herd of clacking high heels and Starbucks cups.

We all found a seat in the enormous conference room that held students from all over the country. At the front of the room was the panel of PRSSA executive board members and our presenter for the first session, Mary Henige of General Motors. Mary started her presentation with a twist—a Twitter twist. We students were invited to ask questions via our Smartphones. We feverishly asked anything we wanted to know about her life and career in public relations while keeping to the 140-character restriction.

Mary went through everything about her career from right out of college to her position now at General Motors as Director of Social Media, Digital Communications and Reputation Management. Her one piece of advice that stuck out to me the most was when she said, “Man up to your mistakes. Apologize and fix it.” The advice itself was simple but it related to her line of work with all that General Motors has been through. Although General Motors did go through bankruptcy, they are still on the digital media rise. They were one of the first companies to use Google+ as a newsroom and continue to use social media to get in touch with their consumers. They recently combined their public relations team and customer assistance to answer questions and fix problems through social media.

Mary Henige was a unique speaker who showed me all that you can do with Public Relations and how it affects every one of us. Her many tips and suggestions on how to further our careers, I believe will stay with us while thinking about where we want our futures to be.

It’s been a great start to the conference, and can’t wait to see the rest!