As senior admissions counselor, Brandi Brooks jokes that it means she is the “old” counselor. However, don’t be fooled by the job title and her sense of humor. Brandi essentially acts as a “cheerleader” for Southeast, among many other things.
“I’m the counselor who corrals all the other counselors, tries to motivate them and keep them updated on new admissions stuff,” she said.
A lot of traveling is involved as a senior admissions counselor. Brandi generally travels to schools in the Southeast Missouri territory, as well as in Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas. Southeast attempts to establish relationships with high schools, middle schools and even elementary schools. Brandi is also responsible for planning events and keeping in contact with prospective students.
“The good thing about my job is that I am given the freedom to do a variety of things,” she says.
A 2003 Southeast graduate, Brandi earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication with an advertising option. She tried out several different areasᾰpre-law, computer science and fashion merchandisingᾰbefore discovering that mass communication combined with advertising was the most fitting route to take. Proclaiming herself a “pop culture junkie,” she says this is one reason advertising suits her so well.
Having an advertising background has certainly enhanced her day-to-day activities, and
Brandi said she uses her academic experiences on the job daily. The Office of Admissions plans and hosts events throughout the year to promote Southeast. This requires designing flyers and invitations, and handling other details.
“The University is not a traditional, tangible product to promote,” she says.
“We’re not only promoting an education, but an experience, too,” she said.
Her favorite moments as a former Southeast student are move-in day and graduation. Also, being a huge athletics fan, Brandi says it was exciting when the men’s basketball team made it to the NCAA tournament in 2000.
“It was my freshman year, and the atmosphere all over campus was incredible and unreal!” she said. “It was great going to sold out games and seeing the team progress as well as they did.”
Though Brandi says she has enjoyable memories of Southeast, she says she wasn’t exactly looking for a campus job.
“I kind of just fell into this job,” she said. As a student, Brandi worked in Career Services (now known as Career Linkages). She had interviewed at numerous places and had received some offers; yet, none of the offers grabbed her attention.
“Dobbie Herrion, who at the time was the assistant director of Career Services, thought I would be a good fit for the position. Though I was hesitant at first, I liked the idea of this position being a different kind of job,” she said.
Outside of work, Brandi’s interests include NCAA basketball, reading, watching movies and funny television shows (especially “The Office”), anything ‘80s, music and shopping. She admits to buying more music than anyone probably should. Also, she tries to go to a few concerts every year and likes to check out local bands. She says she loves the Tunes at Twilight series in downtown Cape Girardeau.
Although traveling is a major part of Brandi’s job, there are many places she would still like to visit including Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas and Miami within the next two years. If accomplished, she’ll certainly earn a lot of frequent flyer miles. For now, she says Chicago is definitely her favorite city.
Brandi offers Southeast students the following insights: “Enjoy your time here and make the most of it. Learn beyond what the classes offer. It’s all about figuring out that there is so much more to this [the college experience] than books, classes and paper. It’s the same as lifeᾰit’s not all supposed to be about work, bills and more work. There is so much more out there to enjoy!”