Bobby BryantOctober 26, 2021
Bobby Bryant was a 2017 Truman graduate, and later received an MPA from Lindenwood University. He and his wife (also a Truman alumni) were married in 2020, and currently reside in Jefferson City, MO, where they recently purchased a home. In his freetime, Bobby enjoys reading, spending time on the Katy Trail, and playing with his pets.
What year did you graduate and what was your concentration?
I graduated in 2017, and my concentration was Public Communication.
What extra-/co-curricular activities did you do?
I was involved in the service organization Alpha Phi Omega, served on the Executive Board of the Communication honor cociety Lambda Pi Eta, and worked in the SUB putting on events all over campus.
Did you go to grad school? If so, where? Was it immediately after you left Truman or did you wait? Why?
I received a Masters in Public Administration from Lindenwood University. I waited a few months before deciding to get a Masters degree. I didn’t plan on going to graduate school, but after a few months working in my first job I knew I did not want my career to be in sales. I decided to go back to school, and finished my graduate studies while working full time.
What was your first job after graduation?
My first job after graduation was working in sales for a logistics company in Kansas City, MO.
What work do you do/What are you doing now?
Currently, I work in the public sector for the State of Missouri. I am a Budget Analyst in the non-partisan Office of Budget and Planning. We review agencies’ requested budgets, prepare the Governor’s Recommended Budget, review legislation, and more. I also work alongside a number of fellow Truman Alumni.
How has your Liberal Arts/COMM education helped you?
My liberal arts education taught me how to think critically and to approach issues from multiple sides. The soft skills acquired through a liberal arts education and the COMM courses I took are the foundation that the rest of my education and my career were built on. There is no way I would be successful in my current role without the skills I obtained from my studies at Truman.
Which class did you dislike at the time you took it, but now you’re grateful you took it?
Group Process – The content seemed dry at the time, but it helped prepare me to understand the dynamics of a small team, and to communicate effectively with my team today.
What was your greatest accomplishment at Truman?
I transferred to Truman ahead of my Junior year. I came from an environment where I didn’t really need to try in order to be successful, and looking back, the work I did reflected that. Any Truman student would agree that you cannot just float along here. Truman has this energy emanating from a student body that is determined and eager to learn. It may not be an accomplishment per se, but deciding to come to Truman snapped me out of a lackadaisical approach to my education. Without that, I would not be where I am today.
Why is Truman a good place for a student to study?
Truman is such a unique place, and the school creates a wonderful environment to learn. Kirksville is a great town, but you are also insulated from distractions that might be present at other schools. Truman provides a little oasis where you can come and enjoy college, while also studying at a top institution.
What would you say a COMM student should absolutely do while at Truman?
Take classes outside of your concentration. The COMM Department provides so many options to students, and they will provide you with real skills for later in life. Things I learned in journalism courses, publication design, and magazine writing are things I use regularly in my job.
What advice would you give someone who wants to go into the same line of work as you?
The best advice I could give is to get educated and get involved. Being educated doesn’t necessarily mean earning an advanced degree, but you need to understand the political and governing process at whatever level you want to work. Take classes, do internships, and even take lower level jobs to get exposure to the organization. My first state job was reviewing tax credit applications at the Department of Economic Development, and that job helped prepare me for my current role in the state budget world.
What do you miss most about campus/Kirksville?
The thing I miss most is definitely being within walking distance from my friends. The proximity to your closest friends is such a special part of the college experience that I really miss. Also, I miss the free newspapers all over campus.
What tag line would you create for the COMM department at Truman?
“COMM – Worth the walk to Barnett!”
If you could come back to Truman and teach a class for a semester, what would be its title and what would it be about?
I don’t have a good course title, but I would teach a version of the Political Communication course I took while I was at Truman (taught by Dr. Self and Dr. Yaquinto). The course was great, and focused on national and statewide elections. I would want to teach a course focused on the political rhetoric used at the state and local level. State and local government has such a direct impact on citizens’ lives, and I think it would be fascinating to analyze it in the same way we do national politics.
What did we not ask that you think is important for people to know?
Kirksville will be your home for a few years, if you have the opportunity to get involved you should! There are a lot of great opportunities for service and for community involvement.