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Robertson School alumnus receives Rising Star Award from PRSA Richmond

Jun 2, 2017

Posted in: News

By William Lineberry

Blake Mirzayan
Blake Mirzayan

An alumnus of the VCU Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture was recently given the Rising Star Award by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Richmond chapter.

Blake Mirzayan (Robertson, B.S., 2014), an account executive at Padilla in Richmond, was announced as the winner of the Rising Star Award earlier this month at the 70th Annual Virginia Public Relations Awards.  

 “When I found out I had won, I really was speechless. But for me, when I think about the award, I think about the time it took for people to nominate me,” Mirzayan said. “People at my agency-- my manager, mentor, clients – and others in the community took a lot of time to nominate me.”

“That is what makes winning the award so meaningful to me. The award is an achievement that I’m proud of, but to know that I’m appreciated by these people, and am seen as a valuable contributor to the agency and others I work with, is a great honor.”

The Rising Star Award is intended for young PR practitioners who have made a tremendous impact in the industry around the Richmond area, as well as in community organizations through volunteer service, in less than five years and who also show great promise for future leadership roles in the industry.

After graduating from the Robertson School in 2014, Mirzayan took an internship at Padilla in Richmond. Three months later, nearing the end of his time at Padilla as an intern, Mirzayan was offered a full-time position. Since then, he has worked at Padilla and now serves as an account executive. He also serves on the board of the Visual Arts Creative Ambassadors (VACA), the Visual Arts Center of Richmond’s young professionals' group.

One of the main differences that Mirzayan noted between his time as an intern and now as an industry professional is that, unlike how it may appear as a student, learning one’s trade never stops.

“The only thing that changed was the realization that once you go full-time and you’re a quote ‘professional,’ you still don’t know everything. Every day you are learning something new. You always have more to figure more. There are no two days that are the same when you’re working in this industry.” 

Mirzayan went on to credit his time in the Robertson School with helping him grow into his professional self.

“I think what the Robertson School did for me was build me a network of mentors, peers and now my colleagues that are also all constantly learning and growing in an always-changing field. It’s a support system. I always had professors behind me and my peers, pushing us to go out and get involved in the industry and the community.”