After Eddie Ravert sat down in his room to return the missed call he received from an Illinois area code, all that his apartment-mates could hear was excited yelling. Ravert had won one of the most prestigious public relations awards in the country: the Daniel J. Edelman Public Relations Student Society of America Award.
Ravert was selected from a pool of candidates who attend schools all across the country, many of whom were active in huge public relations programs in schools like The Newhouse School of Syracuse and LSU Manship School of Mass Communication.
“To win this award from Scranton first and foremost speaks volumes about our communications department and the care the professors give to all students; I went up against huge programs like Newhouse and LSU Manship, so to win it from a school with an undergraduate class of around 5,000 is awesome for our communications department and the College of Arts and Sciences as a whole,” Ravert said. “It is a humbling experience having different professors thank me from all the different departments. The athletic department is thrilled, too. Last year’s winner was from Michigan State, but now when you look at the list of winners, Scranton will be on it.”
Ravert heard about the scholarship through the PRSSA website while participating in the Bateman Competition. The Bateman Competition is a national competition for public relations students that gives the opportunity to apply what has been learned from classrooms and internships into formulating a large-scale public relations campaign. Students from different schools compete to present their pitches to a client (this year it is Fiserv, Inc.’s app “Popmoney”) in the hopes that the client picks their campaign to use.
“Because I was perusing through the PRSSA website for the Bateman Competition, I went under the scholarships tab and this scholarship was the one that interested me the most. Working for Edelman is a PR student’s dream come true,” Ravert said.
To apply, students submit writen pieces that they have performed before. Ravert’s pieces included everything from internship work with the Railriders and PR plans books for the Royal Fund to various PR assignments.
“I sent in the application on a whim at the last second of the last hour of the deadline. I knew there was a lot of competition, but I knew that my work was just as good as any other PR students, so I was confident but I didn’t know how I would match up,” Ravert said. “Once it got down to the final three, I had a phone interview with Travis Kessel, the Edelman HR representative, which I think I did really well in. I also had to include two letters of recommendation in my application, and the first thing Travis said on the phone was that Dr. Kelly and Dr. Mohammed’s recommendations were the best he’s seen out of any applicant in any year that applied. So I’m thankful for that.”
Ravert is now in the process of looking for housing in Chicago neighborhoods, because he will be heading out there a week or two after graduation.
“I’ve never been [to Chicago] but I’ve heard great things about the windy city. The Chicago office is where the head of global crisis communication is, which is the field I want to enter, so it makes sense to go to the hub of it all,” Ravert said. “It’s also beneficial because the Chicago HR staff is the one that chooses the award, so it helps to go where the people that picked me are.”
Ravert is excited to finally be able to tell people about the award. Once he found out, he was not allowed to tell anyone for two weeks, until Edelman released it officially.
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