Having grown up in places across the world in a military family, Mike O'Key approached his collegiate career with wide eyes. O'Key, a first-generation college student, said that the college tours that most students embark on were unfamiliar to him. He only had the opportunity to visit a select group of campuses during his college search. He remarked that none felt like Auburn, saying scholarship led him to the Plains, but the Auburn family made him stick around. O'Key strives to overachieve and never give up. While simultaneously pursuing concurrent degrees in Public Administration and Environmental Design, he has been involved in leadership positions across campus, and continues to work at Pieology roughly 30 hours per week.
Mike described one of his greatest challenges as tackling 2017 Welcome Week alone. He said he went from being one of fifteen on the team in 2016 to being one of one the following year. O'Key said his Welcome Week success was aided heavily by other organizations and involvement staff. In addition to Welcome Week, Mike has been an SGA Senator and Director of Campus Relations, describing his time in cabinet as one of his favorite experiences as it exemplified "a celebration of student life." In spring of 2018, O'key made a bid for SGA President, asking students if they were "like Mike." Mike O'Key continues to serve Auburn as a student recruiter, sharing his passion with future students in hopes they choose to make home on the Plains. A humble O'Key said it still takes him off guard when people recognize him for his service to the university. Mike described Auburn as "the first place in my life where my opportunities, my shots, or my chances are based fully off of me, my actions, my words." Mike O'Key's work behind the scenes might not be widely recognized, but his charming smile and demeanor are unmistakable.