Emilio Ramos Headshot

Undergraduate Program

Emilio Ramos

Public Relations

Digging Deep

Emilio Ramos ’23 began his journey to MMU toward the end of 2017. He returned from deployment and was told he would be medically retired due to the injuries he sustained over the years. He’s had multiple surgeries over the last year and a half, and will require more.

“Knowing I had to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I decided to fulfill a long-time goal of mine and get an education," said Ramos.

“Knowing I had to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I decided to fulfill a long-time goal of mine and get an education.”

Marine Corps job experience applies to his life

His search was an easy one due to his job in the Marine Corps, where he was involved with public relations and also served as a retention and transition counselor. He helped people stay in the Marines to set them up for success when they decided to move on. When Ramos switched over to be a counselor, he used those skills to network with employers and connect Marines with great jobs or school scholarships. He had several different tools at his disposal that helped find a school that was suited for him.

“My interest in creative writing is because I would love to be a published author when I finally grow up,” said Ramos. “Since I was around 13 years-old, I would write these elaborate stories of fantasy and wonder. I enjoy writing so much; I can’t see my life without it.”

Any schools Ramos applied to had to have his desired major, minor, and accept the GI Bill (free college tuition for service members). He had a list of about 10 schools across the nation that offered all three. He contacted each via email, explaining his situation and major concerns—low GPA and no ACT/SAT.

Finding the right fit

The list of 10 quickly diminished to five. Of the five, four of them were automated emails and phone conversations with different people who asked the same questions repeatedly. Ramos felt like nothing more than a number to them.

"When I spoke to my MMU admissions counselor, Melissa Pickering, it seemed like the first time I was speaking with a real person," said Ramos.

When I spoke to my MMU admissions counselor, Melissa Pickering, it seemed like the first time I was speaking with a real person.

Emilio Ramos '23
Public Relations

Non-traditional complications

Coming back to school after so many years has been difficult for Ramos for several reasons. He finds himself with a lack of knowledge in terms of basic grammar, spelling, studying, and note taking. He also finds himself behind his new classmates.

“These are things I am working hard to overcome,” said Ramos. “I’ve watched many videos and have read numerous forums on how to be a successful student. Some have helped while others made it worse.”

One of his biggest struggles is the culture of the Marine Corps being vastly different than a school setting. In the Marine Corps, every action and encounter revolved around respect to the superior ranks.

“Not needing to always worry about being in a ‘professional’ mindset is hard to get over,” he said.

Part of a coMMUnity

Despite the different environment, Ramos truly feels accepted at Mount Mercy. He’s constantly telling himself that it’s ok to take things slow and it’s his first semester in school, but this is the time where his life has changed drastically. He recommends taking advantage of the down time and figuring out what your new norms are.

“My wife has been such a help with me going to school for the first time in years,” said Ramos. “I’ll bounce my day-to-day thoughts and experiences off her and ask if they are like her college years. She has been keeping me level-headed.”

Ramos loves to talk and get to know new people. He’s always writing and will continue to work toward getting published. However, his career goals revolve around public relations, and he’s excited to take advantage of internships and work-study opportunities.

"MMU has been great for me as a non-traditional student," said Ramos. "From my admissions counselor, to my student advisor, to many members of the staff, everyone has made it a point to ease my transition.This warm feeling is also very different from the Marine mentality. At MMU, I feel people are genuinely asking and would not feel burdened to provide assistance."

At MMU, I feel people are genuinely asking and would not feel burdened to provide assistance.

Emilio Ramos '23
Public Relations

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