Sikeston Graduate is Now Southeast Admissions Counselor in St. Louis, Illinois

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Nov. 21, 2003 – Brandi Brooks is one of Southeast Missouri State University’s newest admissions counselors, having joined the admissions staff last June.

Originally from Sikeston, Mo., Brooks now travels throughout the St. Louis area and Illinois, speaking with prospective students about Southeast.  Her territory includes St. Louis private schools, metro Illinois, and Springfield, Ill.

Brooks says she loves her position.

“I wasn’t ready to move to a big city.  I still enjoy being close to home and staying in Southeast Missouri.  Now I have the best of both worlds.  I get to visit the city and all it has to offer, but I am still near family and friends,” she says.

On the road since September, Brooks spent an average of four days a week traveling.  She has visited about 60 high schools in her territory this fall and will resume her school visits in late February.  Her intensive schedule keeps her in her car quite a bit, but Brooks says she loves to drive and see new places and people.

When visiting high schools, Brooks meets with prospective students and provides them with information about Southeast.

“I get to know the students, and they get to know me,” she says.  “We develop an informal friendship, as I try to make them comfortable with the process of researching and deciding on a college.”

Brooks believes the fact that she is a Southeast graduate and from Southeast Missouri helps her promote the University.  According to her, many of the students with whom she speaks, particularly those from the St. Louis area, want to get away from home, but not too far away.

“I always emphasize to students the ease of getting away, but keeping close by attending Southeast,” says Brooks.  “I let them know of the opportunities we have at Southeast and try to paint a realistic portrait of college life.  Many students only know what they have seen on MTV or in the movies.  I try to provide them with an objective view and realistic perspective, while also sharing with them the benefits of attending Southeast.”

Brooks’ commitment to relationships and personal interaction is evidenced in her work.  She says the Southeast admissions team places a high priority on connecting with the students they meet.  Postcards are sent to virtually every student Brooks talks with during her high school visits, emphasizing her desire to help the student in whatever way possible.

According to Brooks, another important characteristic of Southeast’s admissions counselors is their commitment to helping a student make the right individual decision, whether that is Southeast or not.

“I tell students about Southeast and hope they will see all it has to offer, but if it is not the right school for them, I will help them find other options,” Brooks says.  “I try to help them understand that it is their decision, and it should be made on what is best for them.”

Campus visits are strongly encouraged by Brooks.  She sees great value in visiting a potential school and talking directly with its students and faculty.  When students come to visit Southeast, Brooks says she enjoys meeting with them, taking them on tours, answering questions, and making a connection with them.

“I enjoy feeling like I am having some impact on their lives,” she explains.  “There are so many different types of students, and I never know who I will meet next.  It keeps things exciting and rewarding.”

Brooks graduated from Southeast in May 2003, with a bachelor’s degree in communication with an emphasis in advertising.  She was involved in communication student organizations.  She also was a member of Phi Kappa Phi national honor society, Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society, and Kappa Tau Alpha communication honor society.  She served as a minority mentor for the Office of Minority Student Programs and worked as a student employee in Career Services.

Graduating from Sikeston High School in 1999, Brooks was a member of the marketing club DECA and competed at district and state levels.  She was student council secretary her senior year.  She also played the violin in the Sikeston High School Orchestra for seven years.

In her free time, Brooks likes to read and listen to music.  She is an avid shopper and an enthusiastic college basketball fan.  While she currently lives in Cape Girardeau, her roots are firmly entrenched in the Bootheel.  Her family still lives in Sikeston, and her father is the women’s basketball coach at Sikeston High School.

If you are interested in learning more about Southeast or in scheduling a campus visit, contact Brooks at (573) 651-5939 or e-mail her at bbrooks@semo.edu.