John Boudreau G'18

January 3, 2019

“Advocate for yourself and for your career interests—that’s part of the reason you’re in grad school! Don’t be afraid to blaze your own trail.”

John Boudreau G'18
John Boudreau G'18

John Boudreau earned an M.S. in public relations (PR) in 2018. Boudreau currently works as a content strategist with The Additive Agency in New York City. He has previously interned with Eric Mower + Associates and worked as a freelance writer.

What is your current position title and employer?

I’m currently a content strategist with The Additive Agency, a boutique branding firm in New York City that works with nonprofit clients. The mix of nonprofit and agency work can be really difficult to find, so I was overjoyed to get an offer from Additive—I really landed a dream job.

How did you obtain your current position, and what positions did you hold before it?

Before getting my master’s degree, I worked full-time doing communications work for a maritime history museum in Connecticut. I knew from that experience that I wanted to keep doing communications work, preferably with a nonprofit focus. I also knew that after finishing graduate school, I wanted to work at a different type of nonprofit to gain a new perspective on the work.

What’s an average day like for you on the job?

My job duties are roughly split into thirds. On most days, I work on creating written deliverables for our clients: messaging toolkits, mission statements, and some ready-to-use content like boilerplates. I also serve as the main point of contact for certain client projects, so in that capacity I work more like a project manager, making sure that everyone has the information and resources they need to succeed. The last third of my job depends on the week and what the client or the firm needs—that sort of wild card role is often the most fun work for me to do.

How do you feel Newhouse prepared you for your current job?

Newhouse gave me a much better understanding of what it was like to work with clients. My background was working in-house, so I had never dealt with keeping three or four very different projects going at the same time. The client projects we did as part of our Research and Campaigns courses, as well as my internship with Syracuse communications firm Mower, helped me acquire that skill set quickly.

What are some obstacles or misconceptions about your field that students ought to be aware of?

Public relations is a really versatile degree, and the difference between advertising, marketing and public relations is getting smaller every day. There are plenty of careers in public relations out there that don’t involve working for a big agency or a multinational corporation—for example, I’m technically working in branding right now, which is only a small part of the public relations curriculum. So don’t limit your job hunt exclusively to positions with “Public Relations” in the title.

What advice do you have for current or incoming students? Any classes or professors that you recommend?

When you finally figure out what part of the public relations world you’d like to be a part of, it’s up to you to make that happen. Advocate for yourself and for your career interests—that’s part of the reason you’re in grad school! Don’t be afraid to blaze your own trail. Think carefully about where you’d like to do your internships too. They’re a good way to either try a part of the field you’re curious about, or to build a strong network in a segment you’re confident you want to work in.

One of the unexpected delights of my Newhouse experience was interacting with all of the international students—I had friends and classmates from China, the Netherlands, Scotland, Cuba, India, Korea…the list goes on. It was great to learn from them and hear about their experiences—definitely an opportunity I think Newhouse students should embrace!

As far as professors go, I highly recommend Professors Gina Luttrell and Michael Meath. Both of them have a great energy in the classroom as well as a natural curiosity about the work and about their students. They understand the skills that practitioners need to succeed, and offer great advice no matter what stage of your career journey you’re on. 

View John’s work on Linkedin>>