Amanda Gouthiere, MS
What I do now: I am the Executive Director at Shreveport Opera.
My work/job consists of: Payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable, budgeting, bookkeeping, marketing & public relations, coordination of the Shreveport Opera Xpress (SOX) education and outreach program, development, and leadership of the staff and volunteers
Path to my current career position (how I got from the past to the present): I worked at LSUS in the Institute for Human Services & Public Policy as an Event Coordinator and as American Humanics Program Coordinator for 5 years (2000-2005). I left to have my son Joey in August of 2005 and, subsequently, my daughter Julianna in 2007. I had met the former Artistic Director for Shreveport Opera while working at LSUS, and he expressed an interest in me joining the team. I had always held an appreciation for the arts, and so, I began my work at Shreveport Opera in the summer of 2007.
How I got to LSUS (or why I chose LSUS): I first attended the Scholars College at NSU in Natchitoches in the fall of 1994. That semester, I met Bobby. After only one semester, I left school, got married and became pregnant. Only a few months into our marriage, I moved back home with my parents, and at 6 months pregnant, started attending BPCC. In 1997, I transferred to LSUS after taking my basic courses.
Fond memories of LSUS: My fondest memories of LSUS are meeting wonderful people and being active in many student organizations. Even as a single parent, I worked, went to school full-time and was very active on campus. I wanted to make the most of the college experience!
LSUS faculty who helped me: Dr. Norman Dolch, former Executive Director of the LSUS Human Services & Public Policy Institute, was an incredibly inspirational and encouraging mentor to me. I can’t imagine my college experience without him.
How LSUS helped me succeed: The faculty and staff at LSUS want you to succeed; they ensure it’s challenging and that you have to work for it, but they are also there every step of the way to help.
Advice to college-bound students: Don’t feel it’s necessary to go away to school. LSUS is a great university, and it’s right here in Shreveport!
Advice to someone who wants to enter my field: The degrees I obtained from LSUS, as well as the nonprofit certification from the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, prepared me for my career. If you have an interest in leading a nonprofit organization, this track will prepare you for your future!
Tips on choosing a major or career: Choose a career path that you will enjoy and be excited about doing for the rest of your life.
My toughest professional challenge: My toughest professional challenge is being a female in a leadership role. There are still some people who have a hard time working with women in leadership and that can be challenging.
My toughest personal challenge: My toughest (and most rewarding) personal challenge was obtaining my Bachelor’s degree as a single parent. I truly believe the hardest experiences that we go through are the ones that make us who we are; they are the ones from which we grow and learn the most.
Successes (honors, awards, etc.) in my life: I have received awards and honors but success cannot be measured by that. My greatest success is I am a beloved child of God, wife, mother, friend, and volunteer. I am most thankful for the love with which I am surrounded.
I’ve learned this from life: The secret of life is LOVE. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, not tear you down. People who truly love you will accept and love you for all of you, the good and bad. Life is too short; enjoy every moment!
What I’d be doing if I had all the time in the world: I would spend all of my time with my husband and kids just having fun. We love to go to fun places, and that is how I would spend every waking moment.