“Manship encourages students to think outside the box and deliver results”

If you’re like most students, you know the exhilarating feeling of taking your first steps toward a career path by choosing your major. While thrilling, this experience can also be a scary one. What if you make a mistake? If you’ve chosen or are thinking about a major in the Manship School, don’t second-guess yourself. A degree from the Manship School really can take you anywhere. For Zach Barnett, a 2017 political communication graduate, his Manship School degree has already taken him to Washington, D.C.

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Manship School alum Zach Barnett

“Manship graduates do have an advantage over others. The Manship School encourages students to think outside the box and deliver results,” he said.

Barnett speaks from his own experience as a recent grad first working on Capitol Hill, then in the Administration where he serves as Special Assistant in the Office of the U.S. Small Business Administrator.

“Each day is different. It’s never dull,” he said of his role serving as a liaison between the Small Business Administration and the White House. Daily, his tasks include mapping the administrator’s travel schedule, which takes her around the nation advocating for small businesses. He also writes briefings and conducts research throughout the day. His time at the Manship School prepared him to step into this role so soon after graduation, he said.

“Everything at the Manship School is designed to introduce real world experience into the classroom in a way that’s unparalleled,” he said.

Barnett says the capstone class that Manship School students complete to graduate was especially valuable to his current career.

“My capstone class with Bob Mann was deeply intertwined with real-world politics,” he said.

As a political communication major, the capstone assignments put him and his classmates in the role of hypothetical campaign managers. They spent their class periods responding to issues in real-time, writing press releases, building websites and otherwise managing content related to their candidates. These training exercises helped prepare Barnett to fulfill these functions in the fast-paced real world.

“In my position, we don’t have a 24-hour news cycle, we have a 24-minute one,” he said.

Barnett said he was drawn to the Manship School initially because of its small class sizes and expert faculty, many of whom are not only excellent teachers but also enjoyed successful careers in public relations, journalism or politics. This further increased the relevance of each Manship School class, he said, because they were led by experts familiar with the career areas they taught.

Beyond that, the strong Manship School community provides the support students need to succeed, he said.

“Top to bottom, from the dean to the professors and staff, everyone knows each other. I was able to build strong relationships both inside and outside the classroom,” he said.

So how can you, a current or future Manship School student, make the most of your time at the Manship School?

“Don’t focus just on your GPA, even though that’s important, but really pay attention to mastering the content of your courses,” Barnett said, “Every class at the Manship School is relevant to your future career.”

Barnett also recommends students get used to asking their peers and colleagues to edit and proof their writing, and to grab every opportunity to get experience in their desired fields, especially by way of internships.

“Don’t say no to any opportunities. You never know where even local or random opportunities might lead you,” said Barnett.

Article by graduate student Mary Chiappetta

“It made me feel like I could do anything”

This past spring, Manship School junior Anna Foster spent six months studying communication in Nottingham and exploring Europe through LSU’s study abroad program.

The public relations student took courses on communication technology, gender, media and public relations at the internationally-focused University of Nottingham, where she learned about international politics and gained a newfound outlook on the U.S.

Manship School student Anna Foster

“When you go to another country, it’s like taking a whole step back from your life. You get a fresh perspective on everything,” she said.

Foster earned the Manship School’s Global Scholarship, a $5,000 award which covered housing and other expenses. Her tuition was already covered through LSU by TOPS.

During their month-long spring break, Foster and her classmates backpacked on a “whirlwind tour” of seven countries around Europe, including Prague, Berlin and Amsterdam. One of her favorite memories from the trip was eating at a government-certified bouchon, a special type of restaurant in Lyon, France. When they weren’t in class, Foster and her peers rode the bus into Nottingham, a city with a vibrant music and arts scene.

Foster with her dorm-mates at the Holi Festival in Nottingham

After graduating, Foster hopes to work for a humanitarian nonprofit organization, and says that the experience of traveling abroad will be helpful if she ends up working for an international nonprofit.

“Studying abroad definitely impacted me as a person. It made me feel like I could do anything if I put my mind to it,” she says.

You can help other students like Anna study abroad and experience important learning opportunities by donating to the Manship School.


Article by graduate student Hannah Boutwell

“Manship really prepares you for real-world experience”

We all know the stereotype of the part time college job – the type of job students only work to offset tuition and expenses. The job that “gives experience,” but typically doesn’t come with any intention of permanence or specific career relevance.

Some college jobs are different, though. Manship School senior Katie LaCour proves that the job you hold in college, when you combine it with determination to achieve your dreams, can jumpstart your career and deepen the value of the education you receive from the Manship School.

Manship School senior Katie LaCour

While LaCour’s decision to come to LSU was initially a choice driven by proximity to her Pointe Coupee hometown, she intentionally chose the Manship School because of the strong sense of community it offered.

“Everyone kept talking about Manship in my first communication class. And I wondered, what is this cool club everyone is in?” she said.

LaCour values the Manship School’s strong community, small class sizes, and flexible and enthusiastic professors who encourage her to pursue her dreams.

“They are always so interested and want to know more about what I’m doing. I really appreciate that,” she said. “My relationships with my professors have helped me learn to be both personal and professional in my workplace relationships.”

While a student at the Manship School, LaCour also leads public relations for New York digital fashion company Ombre Digital 

While at the Manship School, LaCour began to work for New York digital fashion marketing company Ombre Digital, where she serves as the head of the company’s public relations branch. She remotes from the Manship School during the semester to coordinate public relations campaigns, manage client relationships, and perform social media networking and email marketing. In the summer and during New York fashion weeks in February and September she works full time, helping on the ground with coordinating these major fashion events and blogging and freelancing for magazines like Teen Vogue. All while maintaining her status as a full-time Manship School student.

“It’s a crazy life, but it’s a good life!” she said. “It’s eye opening to be so young and doing what I do. I never thought this would happen.”

LaCour says the Manship School enriches her work experience at Ombre, and vice versa.

“Manship provides a lot for students that really prepares you for real-world experience. Every day in class, the skills I learn I use in the following days and weeks at Ombre. It makes me a better professional,” she said.

LaCour says getting established in fashion industry public relations while still a student in Louisiana has been a challenge, but encourages other students who might have this or similar interests to be brave about pursuing their passions.

“You have to be willing to take steps to make things happen in your own career, and don’t just wait for things to happen,” she said. “You can make it happen if you really want it.”

She also emphasizes the importance of living every moment in the present.

“Make sure you’re doing your best at what you’re doing right now,” she said.

Most importantly, LaCour insists there’s no such thing as a perfect balance, and admits that even she struggles at times. The key to success is not perfection, she said, but that you keep trying.

“I hope other Manship School students will look at me and think, that girl did it, so I can do it too,” she said.

Article by graduate student Mary Chiappetta

Who Run the World? Girls, Increasingly

Dr. Bauer discusses the increasingly powerful role of women in politics

A record number of women ran for elected office in 2018, and record numbers are now headed to Congress following the midterm elections last week. Of the record 237 women who ran for the House of Representatives, at least 99 won; 14 of the 23 who ran for the Senate also claimed those seats. The increasing number of women assuming the mantle of national leadership bodes well for the country, according to Nichole Bauer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at LSU’s Manship School and Department of Political Science.

“Everyone wins when there are more women in political office,” Bauer said.

According to political science research Bauer shared in her Tuesday presentation in honor of the Old State Capitol’s new museum exhibit, They Also Ran, women in positions of power tend to eclipse their male counterparts in how much they accomplish while in office.

On average, Bauer said, women tend to bring 9 percent more federal money home to their districts for roads, bridges and other infrastructure funded in part by the federal government. They also author an average of 20 more bills per term and succeed in getting three more bills passed, on average, than their male colleagues do. This divergence in productivity comes from the fundamental differences in goals men and women tend to bring with them to political office.

“Women run for office to solve a very specific problem,” Bauer said. “Men tend to run for office to pursue political power, as a rung on the ladder of a political career. They aren’t always as focused on legislative objectives.”

Because women tend to be goal oriented when they achieve political office, women are more likely to focus their time and effort on building strategic relationships that will help them accomplish their objectives – even when it means reaching across the aisle. The presence of women in elected office also changes how men behave, too, because women make sure matters that men have not traditionally challenged get on the national agenda—issues that primarily affect women, children and marginalized communities,.

“When women in Congress give impassioned speeches on issues, men listen. Then, they are more likely to give speeches on the same issues, too,” Bauer said. When women are present in Congress, more populations are likely to have a voice in national policy.

Despite the gains women made in Congress during the midterm elections, Bauer said if women continue to win elected office at the rate they are now winning, it will be another 50 years before women equal men in Congress. But, this sobering statistic might remain just an estimate. When women achieve positions of power, especially executive power, they bring other women up with them to fill elevated positions in their administrations. Even just public visibility for women in high places has a ripple effect, empowering other women to reevaluate the heights they can reach in their own chosen career fields, Bauer said.

Bauer said she expects women running for political office, even the highest political offices like the presidency, to become routine following the 2016 presidential election.

“Women in positions of power change what it means to hold power,” Bauer said. “When this happens, everybody wins.”

Article by graduate student Mary Chiappetta

3+3 Program Fast-Tracks Manship School Student for Success

Savannah Tanguis, who is studying political communication at the Manship School, is on the fast track to law school. She is a part of the Manship School’s 3+3 Pre-Law program, where Manship School students can earn their undergraduate mass communication degree and their law degree in seven years instead of eight. The 3+3 Pre-Law program allows students to combine their senior year of college with their first year of law school, saving time and money! Tanguis is passionate about studying political communication and eventually hopes to work in a Congressional office and on political campaigns.

“I love being around passionate people who want to work hard, and that’s what I plan to do in my career,” Tanguis said.

Manship School and 3+3 program participant Savannah Tanguis

Tanguis, who is from Baton Rouge, initially looked at political communication programs at universities in Washington, D.C. after completing a summer program at Georgetown before her senior year in high school. But after touring the Manship School, she fell in love with all the Manship School has to offer and says she couldn’t imagine getting her education anywhere else.

“I’m so obsessed with the Manship School,” Tanguis said. “I couldn’t be happier with my decision.”

Article by graduate student Hannah Boutwell