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Liberal Arts Graduates

Rachelle Smith

Rachelle Smith

What I do now: I am an entrepreneur and am principal and founder of Positive Creative Infusion Consulting, LLC, based in Novi, Michigan. I am also an author.

My work/job consists of: I provide consulting, speaking, and training services for corporations, businesses, colleges, and select non-profit organizations nationwide.

How I got to LSUS: At the time, my parents were both Federal civil service employees of Barksdale Air Force Base. We had moved to Shreveport from an assignment in Seoul, South Korea. I knew I wanted to stay in the area for college. When I first enrolled at LSUS, up until a few months before graduation, I also worked at Barksdale for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. LSUS was perfect for me, as I was able to work during my entire college career, in addition to a maintaining a full-time class load.

Fond Memories of LSUS: I absolutely loved my time at LSUS! I bled navy and gold. There are literally too many to mention. However, my fondest memory was that I held a graduation party for friends and family at my house and numerous LSUS faculty members came. My house was full! I mean wall-to-wall people. I treasured my time at LSUS and my major professors took such a great interest in me. It still moves me to this day to think about it. They were right beside my parents and with me every step of the way during my undergraduate studies. It makes me smile.

LSUS faculty who helped me: I have an affinity for foreign languages, so Joseph Patrick was a great professor and mentor. Dr. Charlene Handford-Barlow was a good mentor and also taught me how to give a good speech, which has been invaluable in my career, particularly in Sales. My best and favorite was the speech to persuade! Also, Dr. Linda K. Martin was a good teacher and taught me all about Public Relations. Moreover, I took a course with Jorgi Jarzabek, which planted such a positive seed. She told me I had the presence to become a news anchor, which was such a compliment. Lastly, I learned a lot from Dr. Karen E. James' Promotional Strategy class. The intensity of the course served as a great foundation for my future graduate studies. 

How LSUS helped me succeed: In addition to opening my eyes and exposing me to so much, I held several roles on campus, which really developed my leadership skills. I was a Student Ambassador, Student Orientation and Registration Leader, intern in the Office of University Advancement, among other activities. The coursework also provided me with such a firm foundation for my future graduate studies. I went on to earn dual master's degrees from Florida International University (Miami, FL), and Northwestern University (Evanston, IL).

What the LSUS Alumni Association Scholarship meant to me:  As a past recipient of the LSUS Alumni Scholarship, I will always be grateful for the support I received while studying at LSUS. It was so meaningful to benefit from the generosity of individuals whom I had never met. The experience has certainly been a motivating factor in my giving back to the university. I certainly credit LSUS with providing a firm educational foundation for my future success, and will continue to "pay it forward" every chance I get.

What I do now: Principal, Positive Creative Infusion Consulting, LLC.

About my job: I founded Positive Creative Infusion Consulting, LLC, a sales and marketing consulting firm to assist businesses, non-profits, and individuals.

Advice to college-bound students: Work hard and take your grades very seriously. Also, become well rounded by developing and pursuing various interests. In addition, establish a vision for your life and stay focused on your goals.

Advice to someone who wants to enter my field: Be disciplined, passionate, and driven; do your research before you jump in with both feet. Also, find a mentor or two in the field (s) you are pursuing. I have done this numerous times during the course of my studies and career. I still have a team that I refer to as my personal Board of Advisors.

Tips on choosing a major or career: Choose a major that reflects something you are passionate about; passion is key and will push you to succeed like nothing else.

My toughest professional challenge: Starting my own business.

My toughest personal challenge: Re-shifting my priorities to align with focusing on my business. I had to cut some community involvement, volunteering and youth mentoring from my schedule. I tried, unsuccessfully, to be superwoman and do it all. However, I am glad I made the necessary changes.

Successes in my life: Being inducted into the following honor societies during my college studies: Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Sigma Iota. Also, in my first graduate program at FIU, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication named me Graduate Student of the Year. I have also received numerous awards and recognition during my sales career. Very recently, I became a board member of the Northwestern University Alumni Club of Metro Detroit as VP-Membership. I am also honored to serve as a member of the Careers & Networking Committee and Clubs Committee at the Northwestern Alumni Association (NAA). The passion for academia I first experienced at LSUS remains with me to this day!

I've learned this from lifeAppreciate and relish every day, as it is a gift. Also, seek to make a difference in the world.