American University of Beirut

Kristelle Boulos | '14

Business Development and Marketing Manager, Savino & Miller Design Studio

United States of America​

Kristelle shares her professional journey in the US after finishing her BLA degree, explains her gravitation towards business development and marketing management, and describes how LDEM helped her continuously chase her dreams.


After graduation, where did your BLA degree take you?

I moved to Miami (where I have family) to job hunt. I worked for a couple of months for two
landscape architects in Miami (L&ND) as a freelancer while I was looking for a full-time job.
November 2014 (Four months after graduation) I joined Gustafson Guthrie Nichol as a
Designer in Washington D.C.
January 2018 I joined Raymond Jungles, Inc as an Associate and Project Coordinator.
November 2020 I joined Savino & Miller Design Studio as their Business Development and
Marketing Manager, and I started my photography business.

Do you think that LDEM equipped you well in comparison to other peers in the field?

Definitely. LDEM equipped me to figure things out on my own, to form and nurture meaningful relationships, to develop strong critical thinking skills, and to find creative ways to be efficient (especially coming from a country where things don’t run as smoothly all the time).

In what way do you see meeting points between landscape architecture and business development/marketing management?

Throughout my career, I found myself gravitating towards the strategy and marketing aspect of the profession through the tasks I was involved in at GGN and Raymond Jungles such as revamping/developing the office website (public and internal to exchange research and resources), putting together award submittals, coordinating spreads in publications, taking professional photos for marketing brochures and monographs, editing videos for competitions submittals, developing proposals and more.

Business Development and Marketing Management is an extension of the profession, and it’s rarely done by a person with a Landscape Architecture background. I do think that it’s important to have the knowledge and experience as a designer for this role. It is like taking a step back and looking at the big picture, vs. diving into the tiniest details of construction.

On the business development side, it’s about looking for opportunities and deciding which ones to pursue depending on the vision and direction of the firm and putting together a solid proposal. It’s also about always looking for efficient ways to improve the business and
On the marketing side, it’s about knowing how to tell the stories of complex designs in a way that can be understood and appreciated by different audiences (general public, lectures, press, awards submittals, qualification packages…), and explaining why our work matters.
It’s also important to be in tune with the latest platforms to share our work in innovative and creative ways.

​Do you feel that your current job sustains your daily life?

My salary is $75,000/year. It sustains my daily life, but our field is definitely not the most highly paid in the market. However, I do find it rewarding to work on projects that have an impact on the environment and on different communities.

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