Tell us about your current job role/employer and what you’re currently working on.
I am currently playing in the NFL. This past year, I started the Chubb Foundation as a way to give back to the Atlanta community and surrounding communities. I am exploring a couple of investment opportunities that may fit with my brand and future endeavors.
What personal and/or career experiences did you have prior to landing your current job and leading to where you are now?
During the 2017 season, I was sidelined with an ACL injury and was moved to Injured Reserve status for the Detroit Lions. During the 10 months, I used the abundance of free time I had, while rehabbing and recovering, to prepare for my future after football. I gained experience with two externships: one with Fanatics and the other as a Legislative Intern for the U.S. House pf Representatives for Congressman John Lewis. While I was at Wake, I volunteered weekly for the Winston-Salem based organization, H.O.P.E. This experience helped to shape my perspective on the initiatives I want to tackle with my foundation.
What was the most challenging aspect of your first “real world job” and what did you learn from it?
My first “real world” job was playing in the NFL for the LA Rams after I graduated from Wake. The most challenging aspect of that experience was just being independent and trying to view myself as “My Own CEO”. The independence aspect was challenging because I was on my own, in another state across the country, and surrounded by coaches and teammates I had never worked with before. Adapting to my new surroundings and culture was a major adjustment. Also, adapting to the reality of “being fired” was challenging. The NFL is just like any other job where you are hired to perform certain tasks, and to be productive at those tasks for the organization, while competing with thousands of others who are just as good, or better, than you trying to take your position. College is the total opposite; I had a guaranteed job for 4 years with my scholarship.
What advice would you give to new Wake Forest graduates about developing their personal life habits after college?
I would tell them to definitely value the relationships made during college because as we’ve all experienced, it’s a “small world” and you’ll never know when, how, where, or who can assist you in your future endeavors. Value your daily life and experiences; have a work/life balance in a way that doesn’t take away from your appreciation of daily life. What I mean by that is take care of business when you are working so that you don’t have to worry about that stuff when you’re off. There is so much to life and you are so young and can never get this time back so enjoy it when you can.
How have you made personal and professional relationships in your city, company, or community?
I value relationships greatly. I take every opportunity I can to meet fellow alumni. Living in Atlanta is a big hot spot for Deacs and there are a lot of alumni events that allow you to cross paths with them. When I do cross paths, I make sure to value that interaction and extend it past that one time. I have also used Linkedin, alumni events, and finding alumni in my area through LinkedIn to find people with common interests as me to meet for dinner.
Have you been mentored by anyone at Wake Forest or in your professional life? If so, what impact has that relationship had on you?
Yes, many people! Ashley Wechter had a large impact on my from a community involvement standpoint. Ashley always had her doors open to student athletes in Miller Center, and one day I took advantage of that opportunity and never looked back. Dwight Lewis & Skip Brown have been important as well. They always extended a hand to student athletes and once I established that relationship with those two guys I went to them for any advice, concerns, or questions. Lastly, Warren Belin, my Linebacker coach at the time. He was a great example of how to be a man and handle yourself in a respectful and Godly manner everyday and being around that all the time set a great example for how to handle myself.
What are your future career goals or plans? How are you being intentional about working towards them?
My future career goals are to run my own business. This goal might entail being a franchisee of a business or owning and operating my own business. That is my start goal. I’m entrepreneur-minded, so being able to have a business I own/operate would be ideal.
Story published in July 2018. For current updates about Brandon, visit his LinkedIn page.