This weekend has been one I’ll never forget. But let me provide some history first.
Two months ago, I had no idea where I would be starting May 17, the day following my graduation from the Manship School of Mass Communication. I weighed my options for full-time positions in Baton Rouge and on the Gulf Coast.
In the midst of job searching and networking events, I was trying not to become overwhelmed with the Bateman Competition. January through March now seem like an absolute whirlwind to me, and thinking about what our team of five women was able to accomplish at a university comprised of almost 30,000 makes me exhausted.
The news was officially released on Friday, March 21, that I am the inaugural Ruth Edelman/PRSSA National Award winner. Humbled is an understatement. This woman inspired anyone she came into contact with. She uplifted those around her, and she made them feel as though they were each critical to the vision of the company.
I applied on a whim. I read through the application once or twice in early December 2013. I counted myself out (almost entirely). There’s something odd and self-reflective about filling out applications. A fine line exists between boasting and identifying your talents within a maximum word count. I discredited my capabilities after a few first glances. Then, after a moment of clarity on a long run, I decided to just apply. The worst Edelman PR could say was no.
On Saturday, January 25, I began compiling a portfolio along with my application materials. I became disheartened again; I needed some reassurance. Jensen, my adviser for PRSSA at LSU and the Bateman Team, was quick to respond to my text asking for advice. After a phone call, I knew it wasn’t far-fetched for me to apply…or win.
I asked Jensen and a former women’s history professor for letters of recommendation. Both had letters ready to be picked up by Monday, January 27. The application was due to PRSSA National headquarters in New York by Friday, January 31.
On my way to the gym, I decided to send my completed application. The rest of the week was looking stacked, and I was concerned about the limited time frame. As I walked into UPS, the cashier asked if I was sending a package. My application was the last item picked up by the truck that evening — with five minutes to spare before closing time.
The winter months in Baton Rouge have been pretty dreary this year. On Tuesday, January 28, most roads were closed due to safety hazards. My application would not have made it to New York by Friday had I not dropped it off the night before.
I’m humbled to represent such an amazing woman and company. It kind of seems like fate, after all.
Aside from finding out where the next chapter of my life will be location-wise (Chicago), the 2014 LSU Bateman Team sent our campaign book to print yesterday. Ninety pages stacked with information about our campaign and its results — which are impressive, I might add — will be on its way to PRSSA National in New York this week. We have spent hours researching, planning, executing and evaluating throughout the last five months. There have been moments where I have felt totally inadequate, but I find those are the optimal opportunities for personal growth.
I’m exhausted, but I’m grateful.
Oh, and I’m happy.