CAFNR Advisor Spotlight: Robyn Holliday (Eschenbre​nner)

Holliday (Eschenbrenner) serves as an academic advisor for the agribusiness management and personal financial planning degree programs

How rewarding is it to work with students in the agribusiness management and personal financial planning degree programs?

Being an advisor for agribusiness management and personal financial planning students has been very rewarding. Though I have not been working with them for long, I have enjoyed getting to know each of the students personally and learning about their unique paths. Helping the students find a solution to a problem they are having, whether it is with academics or a personal concern, is very enriching. I am thrilled to watch these students succeed here at Mizzou and after graduation.  

How do you assist those students throughout their academic journey?

I begin advising with learning the background of each student, and I try to create a connection with them. We discuss their future goals for their time at MU and plans for after graduation. We then go over a graduation plan for their degree program to find the best fit and track for them to follow. I want the students to explore all their options before deciding on their future. We choose what classes they will be taking each semester and plan out how long it will take them to complete the program. Students and I meet at least once each semester to plan their course schedule, prepare them for internships, research opportunities or study aboard programs.  

What advice would you give to high school students who are interested in pursuing degrees in agribusiness management or personal financial planning?

Before taking on this new role as an academic advisor, I taught high school agricultural education. I loved working with high school students and helping them discover their future career paths. The advice I would give to my former students and to any high school student now is to not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Go talk to others, explore new places and figure out what you are passionate about. This advice is applicable for students interested in pursuing a degree in agribusiness management or personal financial planning. I would strongly encourage them to go explore the program. Students can come to visit the department and job shadow someone who works in the industry. They should get to know the faculty members and make networking connections. Don’t be afraid to reach out!

The agribusiness management and personal financial planning degrees are both great options for students. Most high school students do not know exactly what they want to study when they come to college, but both degrees give students countless career paths. Agribusiness management graduates work in sales, are business owners, grain merchandisers and lobby in the state capital. Personal financial planning graduates are Certified Financial Planners, financial counselors, business owners and bankers. There are so many career options for both degrees, don’t be afraid to explore them!

What is your favorite part of serving as an academic advisor for these two degree programs?

One of my favorite parts of advising for agribusiness management and personal financial planning is seeing the students get excited about their future careers, internships and opportunities. The students are so passionate about their programs, and I can tell they are going to achieve great things. Another part of my job I enjoy is recruiting new students for the programs. I love meeting prospective students and their parents. I get to show them the programs and everything we have to offer them here in the Division of Applied Social Sciences. I believe both degree programs offer practical and useful courses. The business, accounting, sales and economics courses the students take help prepare them not only for the career force, but to lead successful personal lives.