Krystle Beauchamp is from Shreveport, Louisiana and a 2007 graduate of the Bush School of Government and Public Service. She earned her Master in Public Service and Administration with a concentration in State and Local Government.
Interviewer: What are some of your favorite memories from your time at the Bush School?
Beauchamp: I have so many! I think one of the best memories that sticks out to me was actually the culmination of our capstone thesis. Our client was the Congressional Research Service in Washington, D.C. We traveled up to DC and we met with the Congressional Research Service and a science, commerce and transportation meeting of the senate. We got to present our findings. That was definitely a core memory for me. It’s coordination of all the work I’d ever done at the Bush School, culminating in that one moment when we were presenting our work. That definitely is one that sticks in my head.
Interviewer: How did the Bush School prepare you for your career?
Beauchamp: Thanks to the Bush School, I’ve done several things and I have been prepared to do all of them just with the one degree that I have. I tell people all the time, the Bush School was a really pivotal moment for me. On my first day of graduate school, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in the Gulf Coast. I just moved to College Station from New Orleans two weeks prior and so it was really kind of a call to action to me. I knew I wanted to come back to my state and I wanted to get everything I could to come back in and impact some real change. So when I graduated from the Bush School, I ended up working as the Deputy Director of Community Planning for the Louisiana Recovery Authority, which was the agency created by the governor to address Hurricane Katrina. By that time there was Hurricane Rita, Gustav and Ike and so I came back to the state and did disaster recovery policy. After I did that for a while, I came back to Shreveport, my hometown. I did some development work and some nonprofit work. But government really is my first love, so I actually ended up in the position that I’m in now. I am the Communications Director for the Parish of Caddo, which most states have counties, Louisiana has parishes. I am the spokesperson and communications director for our local government.
Interviewer: How did the Bush School prepare you for your current position?
Beauchamp: I was talking to some students at the Bush School a few weeks ago and I told them … I graduated in 2007, but I still have my duct taped version of my public policy formation textbook in my office that I refer to at least weekly or biweekly. It’s been great having all those tenets of public policy and management, how to formulate a policy, how to research it, how to implement it, how to really bring effective change that’s measurable, and follows a procedure. I think I’ve learned being out in the real world that there are a lot of people that are doing public management and public policy but don’t have the formal training to know what really goes into it. The Bush School has been amazing in helping giving me those tools, giving me that hard, concrete way to really create, measure, and implement policy. The Bush School really been great for collaboration and teamwork as well. It’s so focused on working with other people, working on group projects or capstones. All of it has been really transferable in my jobs where I’ve had to work with multiple demographics, different people, different organizations, and different citizens. Those are some of the few ways that the school has helped. There’s not a day that goes by in my job where I don’t rely on something that I learned at the Bush School.
Beauchamp to serve as a NASA Solar System Ambassador
Interviewer: What advice do you have for current Bush School students?
Beauchamp: Take it all in. I know that the Bush School has evolved in so many amazing ways. Even when I was a student, so many different organizations, new tracks, but some of the things that make the Bush School what it is remains the same. The quality of professors that you have, the quality of professors who are also practitioners, the body of knowledge that you have at the Bush School, and the resources that you have available, special speaker opportunities, really set the Bush School apart. I would tell Bush School students to take in every opportunity, allow some time for fun and relaxation, get to know your classmates outside of study sessions and class, but really take advantage of all of the knowledge that you have at your fingertips. Because it’s really not until you get out of the Bush School, that you realize how much you’ve been able to learn and take in and how well the Bush School has prepared you for your next phase of life. Do everything you can be involved and just soak up all of the knowledge.