Marketing instructor values community

The following is a Q&A with Kirkwood Community College Marketing Instructor Tara Allen. 

Who are you, what do you teach? I’m Tara Allen, I teach Marketing Management courses. I’m the faculty coordinator. 

What brought you to Kirkwood? I was hired as an adjunct in the Business Department back in 2016, and then I moved away to Nashville in 2019. 

It was a big move, but I would fly back and forth to teach at Kirkwood and continue to be an adjunct. I would teach online as well and write curriculum. I said, Kirkwood would be the only reason I would come back and then a couple of positions opened up in the Business Department. I came back here in June of last year for the full time position. 

Where are you from? I was born in Texas, but I’ve lived in 10 states. So I would say the longest place I’ve ever lived in was Chicago. I have also lived in Missouri on a farm.

What made you want to be a professor? If I were asked the question, if you could do anything for free, what would it be? I would say teaching, because I’m a teacher. I teach 28 formats of fitness, painting, culinary, consulting and time management. So if I learn something, I teach it.  

What activities or other things are you involved with on campus? So many. I know this is a community college, and that word community is in there. But even if it wasn’t, my number one thing is community. Kind of like the World Wide Web, being interwoven in the community is very important to me. 

So, supporting anything that I can collaborate on with a different department so we can all get to know each other and help each other out with our skills. I started a podcast here, working with KSP. 

It’s called, My Story, My Reality. And we also take students off campus to another podcast place downtown called Mango Mustache Meeting. It’s really fun and just giving the students experiences taking them off campus. I’m also involved in the DEI committee on campus which is curriculum based. 

My classes are also project based and some of those involve getting other instructors and programs involved.  

Were there any challenges you faced while getting to where you are today? No, because I think that your destiny finds you so you don’t have to go out and find it. 

And so, when I was asked the question, what’s your dream job, I was like, a full time professor. When I got the part time position, it was for seven years, I never thought that it wasn’t going to be right. I think when things are meant to be they just fall into place.

What is the best advice you can give students? Network. If you’re an introvert, still network. Go into the place and grab a business card, walk away, sit behind a computer and email them. If you’re comfortable, then it is going to be easy. 

My advice is to network and do things that make you afraid because you’re teaching your brain that you can do hard things. 

The more you put yourself in those situations, the more you’re developing your brain for harder things. 

Then your capacity grows, then you can do anything, then your self-confidence and self-assurance increases and that is going to carry you through any situation. 

Categories: Feature