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brown alumni young4stem


attended: Brown University, Providence - Rhode Island

majored in: Business and Economics

"One of the best parts was meeting people from all walks of life covering the full spectrum of life experiences"

How and why did you choose your university?

 MG:  I chose Brown because it provided a great environment for explore various courses of study, while also participating in Sports - I was a member of the Track team throughout school.  By visiting campus a couple times, I was able to meet a lot of the existing students and really enjoyed that.  I got to know in advance that I would fit in with the diverse student body, and be able to find my own niche.


What did you major in, and what did you think of the program? 

 MG:  Though I began school in the Engineering program, I majored in Business Economics, and loved it.  I had some excellent and very engaging professors, and the enjoyed the classes.  There was a great variety in the course catalog and top notch professors.  I was even able to set up an independent study with one of my professors helping him on his research, which was later published.


What was your favorite class?  

MG:  My coursework was amazingly diverse, which was enabled by Brown's Open Curriculum.  One of my favorite courses was focused on Underwater Archaeology.  While maybe not the most directly applicable to my eventual career, it was fascinating. It focused everything from the migration and early exploration of early Polynesian explorers, so studies of civil war-era iron clad shops off the coast of the Southern US.  Separately, I really enjoyed my courses on financial markets and behavioural finance.  These were probably more useful in career in finance as well. 

Probably my favorite is a Brown classic - Management of Industrial and Non-Profit Organizations, taught by (now) Professor Emeritas Barrett Hazeltine.  Even though it was officially an Engineering class, it was basically an introduction to business management, with topics including marketing, strategy, operations management, and human relations.

Was it easy to build a relationship with your professors, or they weren’t approachable? 

 MG: Student-teacher ratios are very low at Brown which is a great thing for students.   I never took a course which was led by a TA and had full access to professors.  My senior year I helped a professor with his research, via an independent study.  He was examining game theory via the lens of football (soccer) by studying the actions of the goalie and shooter in literally thousands of penalty shots.  It was really interesting to help and discuss his theories with him, and the work was eventually published.  

How did you get involved on campus? 

MG: Most of my involvement outside of class was focused on my training and competing as a member of the Track team.  That said, I had friends who were very involved in politics, theatre, and bands, to mention a few things.   It is very easy, and encouraged, to be an active member of the campus community, and I think makes the experience better for you and the student body as a whole 

What did you gain outside of the college classroom?  

MG: Wow, I think the things I learned outside the classroom- including teamwork, leadership, exploring and experimenting with new ideas and activities - may have had a longer lasting effect on me than the hard skills I learned in the classroom. 


What is your favorite memory of college? 

 MG: I have so many great memories from my time at Brown.  First and foremost, I met my wife while at Brown, so that was pretty great.  I'd say that as a guy from New Jersey that had never moved, and didn't travel much, before Brown, one of the best parts was meeting people from all walks of life covering the full spectrum of life experiences .


What advice do you have for someone attending this university? 

 MG:  I would recommend that students at Brown take full advantage of the Open Curriculum.  Explore, try new things, experiment.  You're only young once.  Learn new things, even if they aren't likely to be directly applicable to a future career.  I took courses from all over the course catalogue, and I really enjoyed the varied courses of study.  


What do you wish you knew before starting college?  

MG: That it didn't matter if I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up, what I wanted as a profession.  I feel like there is this pressure out there to have a plan set in stone from day one to develop a career.  College is a great opportunity to experiment a bit and try a few new things.  I didn’t start college studying for what became my career, but I tried a few different things and found a course of study, and eventual career, which I really liked and found interesting.  

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