Manship School students, whether currently enrolled or alumni, frequently credit the education they receive through the Manship School with setting them up for success on their career paths. But the benefits of a Manship School degree reach further than academic success alone, and relationships and friendships forged in the Manship School community also propel graduates forward into their careers.
Caroline Boutte, a May 2018 public relations graduate, credits the friendships she made through the Manship School equally with the superior education she received in the classroom for helping her to land a dream job far away from her Louisiana hometown. After a whirlwind job search, Boutte landed in sunny Los Angeles, California, where she got the opportunity to help build a public relations start-up from the ground up.
“The Manship School has been involved in every step leading to where I am today,” she said.
When Boutte graduated in May 2018, she left the Manship School untethered to a permanent full-time job and with eyes wide open to the career possibilities that could await her. So when the family of a friend from the Manship School offered her a place to stay with them in Los Angeles while she scouted out job prospects and visited locations in the vastly different areas encompassed throughout L.A. to see where she might like to live, Boutte jumped at the opportunity.
“There was literally nothing holding me back,” she said.
Job searching proved strenuous in Los Angeles’ dynamic environment, but Boutte kept at it until she’d exhausted every public relations job posted in the L.A. area. Then, one day a public relations firm with no established internet presence and “only three Instagram posts” popped up in her search. She applied anyway, and soon after landed the public relations coordinator job at Plastic PR, a startup firm founded on November 1, 2018 by a former actress, model and artist who had grown tired of public relations companies that failed to capture the unique stories of people like herself. So she created her own, and Boutte got to experience building a startup from the ground up.
“I’m so happy to have found work I can get excited about daily,” Boutte said.
In her day to day work as a communications specialist for Plastic PR, Boutte divides her time between office work and attending events, red carpets and other out of office tasks with clients. In the office, Boutte identifies and compiles tailored lists of potential brand partners and media contacts to match her clients’ needs, creates pitch lists, writes client biographies and press kits, and researches strategic opportunities with a constant eye for what comes next. Outside the office, Boutte said her first months with Plastic PR have been jam-packed with glamorous events.
“Last weekend I accompanied a client to a Teen Vogue event, where I made sure she got photographed, networked and interacted with members of the press,” Boutte said. “This weekend, I’ll be attending a gala with another client, prepping her for the red carpet and photo opportunities. It’s rewarding and really fun,” she said.
Boutte credits the education she received from the Manship School with giving her the expertise and confidence to succeed in her new job in her new city.
“I would not have been prepared without the foundation the Manship School gave me,” she said. “Everything from social media management to media law, intro to public relations and public relations writing prepared me for what to expect outside the walls of the Manship School.”
Even though she’s just a few months in to her new gig, Boutte said she’s comfortable keeping up with the quality of work produced by the lead publicist at Plastic PR.
“The classes at the Manship School make sure you know everything you could possibly need to be successful in your field,” Boutte said. “It gave me the foundation to take me wherever I want to go.”
Boutte chose to attend the Manship School rather than leaving Louisiana for college when a friend who had graduated from the Manship School took her to tour and visit. During her visit, her friend introduced her to Dr. Andrea Miller, associate dean for undergraduate studies and administration at the Manship School. Boutte’s conversation with Miller sealed the deal on her decision to attend the Manship School.
“I wasn’t even a student yet, and here was this important person at the Manship School taking time out of her day to meet and talk with me,” Boutte said.
Boutte recommends current students take full advantage of the internships, connections and expert guidance available to students through the Manship School.
“It is what you make of it! Take as many internship opportunities as you can, and network with the people in the school,” she said.
“And if you can, live in South Hall among other Manship School students. You will create a group of people to connect with as a student and professional and create lasting friendships.”
Boutte herself is proof of that.
Article by graduate student Mary Chiappetta