AdvertiseMint starts the new year by naming the scholarship winner for the 2020 application cycle. The 2020 winner, who won $2,500, is 21-year-old Alexandra Bunting, a Master’s student in Integrated Communications at University of Georgia.
A former Journalism major, Alexandra recently earned her BA in Public Relations, as well as certificates in New Media and Music Business. A few classes plus a mentorship solidified her interest in PR.
I originally chose Journalism as a major as a freshman because I love to write. However, I knew that I did not have a passion for reporting and had a mind to explore different majors within the mass communication school at UGA (Grady). I had never really heard of Public Relations before and did not completely know what it meant or entailed until I took the intro class. That class led me to find a love and passion for the possibilities of a career in PR and the people in Grady. I fell in love with the idea of always working with people and creatively finding solutions to problems. It also led me to a mentorship where I was able to work on events and press that drove my passion even further. It made me feel like that was the major and field I belong in, a feeling that holds true today.”
Now she is on her way to pursuing a Master’s in Integrated Communications, and the AdvertiseMint scholarship was a way to pursue the next step in her education.
I applied for the scholarship because I am starting my first semester of grad school, and the scholarship I’ve had the past three and a half years, Zell Miller, would not cover anything past undergrad. I needed a way to help pay for school, so I researched some more scholarships and came across this one. This scholarship will be immensely helpful in my payment for my first semester in grad school, and I am so grateful!”
Alexandra was awarded the scholarship because of her unique and insightful essay about the future of advertising. While many other candidates focused on subjects such as virtual reality, social media, and more targeted advertising, Alexandra was alone in discussing a pertinent topic: political activism in social media. Alexandra cited real-world examples — riots, the controversy around Netflix’s Cuties, the problematic Kylie Jenner commercial for Pepsi — that showed she was not only keenly aware of current events but also thought very deeply about them.
My essay was inspired by what I’ve noticed brands going through during the pandemic and all the other troubles of 2020, as well as an idea that I’ve seen portrayed from one of my favorite companies, Porter Novelli: Brands advertising and portraying themselves with a purpose, a real purpose, not just one they think will please their customers.”
Much like her favorite brand, Porter Novelli, which has run campaigns against sex trafficking in Georgia, Alexandra aspires to use PR in spreading awareness about social issues.
That is the kind of work that I want to do, spreading awareness of issues and using PR to help the people who need it most, and that is what I personally wish to see from more brands. From research assignments I’ve done for school on the attitudes of millennials and Gen Z, I know this is a common theme amongst young consumers who want to see the brands they buy from be socially responsible and support causes they care about, so I think and hope this will be a huge part of the future of advertising and public relations.”
Alexandra is currently a marketing operations intern at NCR and hopes to someday work in the music industry and become an inspiration for the young women who possess the same aspirations.
I would love to mix PR and marketing with my passion and background for music business one day by working at a major label or music app like Spotify. Also, the reason I am pursuing a Master’s degree is to one day become a woman leader in the field and be an inspiration to other young ladies who want to pursue a career in PR, marketing, or music.”
The AdvertiseMent scholarship is an annual scholarship established in 2019. The winner for the 2019 cycle was Vanessa Phan, a student of the University of Southern California. Applications for the 2021 cycle open July 1, 2021 and closes November 29, 2021.