Q&A With Caitlyn Allen

Allen is a senior in parks, recreation and sport

Why did you decide to come to the University of Missouri and major in parks, recreation and sport? What do you enjoy about the program itself? The field of study?

My decision to come to Mizzou was originally because of the journalism school. However, shortly into my freshman year I decided to look into CAFNR’s sport management program to supplement my journalism degree. After taking a couple of classes in the sport management program, I knew this was where I belonged. What I love most about this program is how intent the courses are in teaching you to go out and make your own experiences. The professors encourage student to go beyond the classroom and start applying what we learn in the real world before graduation, which is something a lot of programs don’t do.

How have you used resources in the CAFNR Academic Programs Office (student services, career services, advising, study abroad)? What was your experience like?

I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have my advisor, Jenna. She was invested in helping me from the minute I made an appointment with her to talk about adding sport management as a secondary degree to journalism. I have definitely taken advantage of all the help the advisors office can offer, as well as the career services. CAFNR’s Career and Internship Fairs are how I found my internship with Mizzou Athletics. Last year I became a strategic communications intern and worked primarily for men’s basketball. This experience was truly amazing because I got to learn the details involved with how the team’s media relations is run. This internship actually set me up with two very important opportunities later on.

CAFNR’s RISE Initiative encourages students to have a variety of extracurricular experiences during their time at Mizzou (Research, International, Service Learning, Experiential Learning). What parts of the RISE initiative have you taken advantage of so far, and which do you plan to? What have you enjoyed about these experiences?

There are multiple activities I have been involved in since I joined CAFNR. Last year I was the president for SPRTA (Sport, Park, Recreation and Tourism Association), the club that helps students network and learn more about career opportunities for this program. While COVID prevented the group from doing any fundraising, we did help plan and execute a networking/fundraising event for past CAFNR alumni. Our group also donated to beginning a scholarship endowment for the PRST program. I am also involved in a service group called Mizzou Alternative Breaks. My freshman year trip was cancelled because of the pandemic, but I went on to be a leader for a group that volunteered at the Salvation Army last year. Each of these experiences has helped me grow as a person as well as a young professional.

What has been your favorite activity or experience of being a CAFNR student?

My favorite experience as a CAFNR student has definitely been my internship with the St. Louis Blues. This is one of the experiences that my original internship with Mizzou Athletics allowed me to apply for. I was an intern with the Blues’ Production and Game Entertainment crew last spring. I was in charge of coordinating national anthem singers, mascot appearances/skits, video board promotions, and other in-game entertainment pieces. I met a lot of great professional contacts, and I’m hoping to go to another Blues game this season to shadow the team’s public relations director. This internship is the culmination of all the experiences that I was able to find at Mizzou, and I am truly appreciative of how the CAFNR sport management program has helped me grow in the sports world.