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Illinois Ag News Headlines
Booth Reflects on Her Journey from WIU to John Deere
Illinois Ag Connection - 05/13/2022

Western Illinois University alumna and Director of the Birdies for Charity program Micaela Booth recalls many great memories from her education at WIU including her involvement with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration (RPTA).

Booth's career has recently shifted after completing her internship program through the RPTA program and working for the Downtown Rock Island Arts & Entertainment District for a couple of years after graduating.

"I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to apply for a full-time position once the summer internship was over," said Booth. "I spent my time there building relationships with businesses, marketing the downtown area and planning events/festivals."

During her time at the Downtown Rock Island Arts & Entertainment District booth, she wanted to be involved in the same mentorship program that she had benefited from, so she signed up to be a mentor through the RPTA program.

"It is great to see WQPT participate and benefit from the Birdies for Charity program," said Booth.

While Booth only spent a couple of years working for the Downtown Rock Island Arts & Entertainment District, she began working in sales and marketing at the host course, TPC Deere Run. Booth joined the John Deere Classic team and has held several positions in her time there. Most recently, Booth became the director of the Birdies for Charity program.

Since 1971, the John Deere Classic has delivered more than $145 million to regional charities, most of it through the Birdies for Charity program.

Although Booth was able to gain a knowledge of experience through her careers, her time at WIU is something she often reflects on.

"On campus, I often studied in the grand atrium, where I was able to see the beautiful view of the Mississippi River and build relationships with a few professors who ultimately impacted my career," said Booth. "Bea Brasel taught my programming course that I especially had a great time in. I still apply things I learned there into my career now. Hearing about her current experience with WQPT in real-time was so insightful. Also, Dr. McLean did so much to ensure that all the students were ready for their next steps, by ensuring they had their internships lined up and helping to introduce mentorships."

Some of her favorite memories at WIU were being involved with the Student Recreation Association and throwing a fall festival for the community in the atrium. The Student Recreation Association felt like an extension of her coursework, where she was able to put what she learned into action and have fun.

"One piece of advice I would give a current WIU student is to take advantage of the networking opportunities provided by WIU. The RPTA program hosted a mentorship program that I participated in, and it truly gave my career a jump start. Seek out your own mentor who can be a support system as you transition from college to career. In addition, get to know the Quad Cities community while you are here; it is filled with great organizations, businesses and experiences," said Booth.

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