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General Studies Graduates

John Kay

WHAT I DO NOW: State Director, Americans for Prosperity - Louisiana

ABOUT MY JOB: I have been with AFP Louisiana since January 2014, and became State Director in February 2016. At AFP, we concentrate our efforts on advancing policies that promote economic freedom on the state and federal level.

PATH TO MY CURRENT CAREER POSITION:  I have worked full-time in politics since 2007 when I was first hired to work for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Since then, I have worked on the campaigns and staff of Congressman John Fleming and other candidates, including time at the Alabama Republican Party.   

HOW I GOT TO LSUS: Being from Shreveport, it was a natural fit for me to attend LSU in my own hometown.

FOND MEMORIES OF LSUS: As the SGA President, we began a conversation with the students at LSUS about restructuring the fees for the athletics programs. On a popular vote by the students, we all came together to "Save Our Sports" and ensure the future of LSUS Athletics.

My favorite faculty member was Trey Gibson, my debate coach and professor. Trey taught me the art of public speaking, and developed my communication and interpersonal skills.

HOW LSUS HELPED ME SUCCEED: My time at LSUS taught me to think critically, and adequately communicate my thoughts and convictions. In the world of politics, communication is necessary;  good communicators who have the ability to think on their feet are set up for success.

ADVICE TO COLLEGE-BOUND STUDENTS: Concentrate on your grades, but don't forget to be involved in on-campus activities. From SGA to LSUS Debate, I credit my success to those two activities as much as the actual degree itself.

ADVICE TO SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO ENTER MY FIELD: Network, network, network. The key to succeeding in politics is knowing many people and building a strong reputation among them. If you do good work, future clients will begin to seek you out.

TIPS ON CHOOSING A CAREER/MAJOR:  Be sure to explore more than just one or two potential majors. Take time to speak to advisors about what you want to do professionally and ask them how majoring in their particular area will help you to succeed.

MY TOUGHEST PROFESSIONAL CHALLENGE:  Biting my tongue. I am a very opinionated person, but that doesn't mean that expressing my opinion is always the best idea. Always strive to bring meaningful, constructive points to a conversation. Don't chime in just because you can. 

MY TOUGHEST PERSONAL CHALLENGE: Overextending myself. Know your limits and stick to them. Set your priorities and makes plans that allow you to accomplish what is important to you.

I'VE LEARNED THIS FROM LIFE: It happens, and you should let it. Make plans for your life, but don't get tunnel vision from those plans. Explore new opportunities and be open to new experiences. You will find this mindset refreshing and exciting.

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