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Construction Major Plans to Work with Non-Profits
“Southeast to me is like a flight of stairs. Every student arrives at the bottom of the stairs looking up, and if initiative is taken, an ascent to the top of the stairs will begin. Soon your goal is in sight.”
It’s fitting that this analogy comes from Andrea Branum, who is majoring in construction management at Southeast Missouri State University. Andrea says most people ask her what her major is, but rarely ask what she plans to do with her degree.
“I plan to help people. My dream is to work for a non-profit organization such as Habitat for Humanity so more Americans can be a part of the “American Dream,” Andrea explained. Andrea said she would like to give people a place to come home to at night where they feel safe and warm with their families.
Andrea is a native of Albion, Ill., which has a population of 2,000 people. Andrea said coming to Southeast from a small town can be somewhat intimidating.
“I am a quiet-natured person, so getting involved on campus was very overwhelming at first. I tend to keep to myself. But when I came to Southeast, I began reaching out to other students and faculty, instead of waiting for them to reach out for me,” Andrea explained. Andrea’s initiative to get involved around campus has lead to her new job as a student worker in the President’s Office.
“I love my new job at the President’s Office! Lori, Linda, Debbie, Art and Dr. Dobbins are all such wonderful people to work with,” Andrea said. Andrea’s responsibilities include answering the phone, assisting with walk-ins, running errands, mailing letters and organizing the office to make it more efficient. She said the office is currently in the process of scanning documents into the computer system to reduce the amount of paperwork. If a question ever arises, Andrea says she can pull the document and they can then take the appropriate action.
Andrea, a spring graduate of the Emerging Leaders Program and a current facilitator, says she is in a constant state of self-evaluation of her leadership capabilities. This has, in turn, helped her with her new job and group projects in class.
“Working with President Dobbins and alongside members of his office with special guests and honoraries has helped me gain the confidence to take a leadership role wherever need be. All-in-all, my time at Southeast has enabled me to grow into a well-rounded person who can tie most of my accomplishments to my time spent here,” Andrea professed.
As a student, Andrea says her educational experience at Southeast went from good to outstanding. Like many incoming freshmen, Andrea enrolled in the Success in Technology First Year Learning Team (FLighT). This FLightT made the transition from high school to college, she said, much smoother than she ever expected.
“Having two classes back to back with the same students really helped all of us connect and help each other through our first semester,” Andrea said of the FLighT program. Andrea was advised to join FLighT from her academic advisor, Amanda Eller, who Andrea says has gone above and beyond her expectations.
“Amanda Eller has really helped me through my struggles with tough classes, and her advice on which classes would best suit me to enroll in has been excellent.”
Andrea says her favorite thing to do in Cape is taking black and white photographs of the downtown riverfront area. She became interested in photography after taking a course required by Southeast for her major.
“I was fascinated by the whole process of developing and printing my own film and pictures. After the class was over, I was fortunate enough to find the equipment to build my own personal dark room for cheap.”
Andrea is no longer standing at the bottom of the stairs at Southeast looking up. She has taken the initiative toward her studies and social life, and her goal of graduation and success is in sight.