Laster looks to life after graduation,
links pro experience with ambition
By Catherine Harper
Connecting with the real world after college can be challenging for some graduates. For soon-to-be Texas State alumna Lizzie Laster, real-world experience and a get-up-and-go resolve are taking her to the top of her ambitions and beyond.
Graduating in December 2011 with a degree in public relations, Laster’s fierce focus has shaped her rapidly growing list of achievements. With involvement in student organizations both on and off campus throughout her college career, Laster’s network continues to expand as she embarks on the world.
Growing up in Allen, Texas, Laster developed her drive early on. With a college track in mind, Laster attended the University of Arkansas, becoming a fifth-generation Razorback. The experience left Laster wanting more, however, and she set her sights elsewhere.
With an eye for entertainment public relations, Laster focused her attention on Austin’s entertainment mecca. Texas State’s prime location and public relations program in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication stood out to Laster, and she headed to the hills of San Marcos.
Determined to become involved, Laster joined Texas State’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Taking her leadership to a new level, she took on officer positions with the organization and became president her senior year. According to Laster, this involvement transformed San Marcos into a “home away from home.”
“Through PRSSA, I’ve made some of my best friends in this world. San Marcos is home now, not Allen,” Laster says. “It provided shelter, an enjoyable atmosphere, and friends that are more like family. It’s given me the opportunity to get to know professors outside of the classroom, whereas if I wasn’t involved, I might not have taken the initiative to get to know them.”
With PRSSA, Laster’s credibility has branched far and wide. Laster has attended national conferences, assemblies and leadership rallies with the organization, interacting with professional speakers and public relations students across the country. According to Laster, this experience was one of the most rewarding of her college experience.
“One thing I feel PRSSA gives students is a big eye-opener of what’s going on with other public relations students across the country,” Laster says. “Outside of classes, national conferences have been the most beneficial thing to me in my college career.”
Off campus, Laster has tacked on a timeline of experience with organizations such as Grammy U — a group for students interested in the entertainment industry — as well as internship experience. This spring, she helped to organize the Texas Contemporary Art Fair in Houston with Juice Consulting, and she took on an internship with I&O Communications this fall.
For the future, Laster is set for success with a solid framework in mind.
“I’ll get a job, first and foremost,” Laster says. “I would love to work my first few years after school in a PR agency. Once I’ve got some experience under my belt and made a few connections, I’ll charm them to get a job in corporate communications after the hard-earned work at an agency.”
As a Texas State graduation candidate, Laster says her pride is linked to the many ways she is connected to the campus.
“I think because I’ve become involved, I’ve instilled in myself a sense of becoming a Bobcat by my involvement,” Laster says. “I think the more involved you are the more proud you are of your school, and I am very proud of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Texas State.”
“They set you up for success here,” Laster adds. “I will use the resources I’ve gained for the rest of my life, and I will use the connections that I’ve made every day. I’ve grown up a lot in the past two years.”