A new position in the CAFNR Office of Academic Programs aims to bring more focus to student recruitment for the college. Tara O’Brien, from Elsberry, Missouri, was selected to become the college’s Student Recruitment and Event Specialist.
O’Brien wanted to call Mizzou home long before she knew her career goals.
“I knew the University would have everything I needed to be successful, no matter what I chose to do,” O’Brien said. “I fell in love with the traditions and buzz of campus when I would visit my older brother during Homecoming weekend.”
When O’Brien was a freshman at MU, she entered college as a Plant Science major and worked in Tiger Garden.
“[After] being exposed to special events from a vendor’s perspective, I changed my major to Hospitality Management with an emphasis in Conference and Event Management my sophomore year,” O’Brien said.
While in school, O’Brien was a student recruitment intern and was on the Executive in Residence team through the CAFNR Office of Advancement. She graduated from Mizzou in May 2019 and started the position with CAFNR Academic Programs this past fall.
“Through being a student recruitment intern and keeping connections, when the job opened I decided to apply since I had previous experience with recruiting,” O’Brien said. Her job responsibilities include planning and coordinating recruitment events for CAFNR. O’Brien also travels to college fairs to recruit new students.
“I love that CAFNR values community,” O’Brien said. “CAFNR cares about community and improves its wellbeing through fostering trust, education, research and service. I am a better person because I am a member of the CAFNR family.”
O’Brien is working to make a positive impact on CAFNR.
“CAFNR has given so much to me, so I’m doing what I can to bring students to the CAFNR programs and help share our message,” O’Brien said.
“One of the many great things about Tara returning to the CAFNR family is that she’s really good at planning events,” said Julie Scroggs, director of Student Recruitment. “She’s incredibly detailed and organized, which is especially important because we have so many different recruitment events and activities.”
O’Brien plans and coordinates events that not only teach prospective students about CAFNR, she also works to help students choose a degree program that prepares them for the careers they desire.
“[My favorite part is] getting to talk to motivated students and getting to share my personal experience with CAFNR and help them find their place at Mizzou,” O’Brien said.
Her sincere belief in the college and what it offers young people shines through.
“I hope that students can see the passion that I have for CAFNR and Mizzou when I am talking to them,” O’Brien said. “I want to encourage them to choose Mizzou for the tools that we offer to make them successful entrepreneurs, teachers, doctors, scientists or anything else they choose to do.”