What is your educational and professional background?
I graduated from MassBay Community College with my associate’s degree back in 2012, then transferred here to Framingham State as an English major. I had a secondary education minor, but then partway through my first semester, decided that wasn’t the right track for me, so I dropped that minor. I stayed with English, because I love English. I graduated from here in 2016 and I went in straight in the day after graduation to my master’s program at Salem State, going for their higher education student affairs program. I just graduated from there in May of this year. … I really had a fun time [at FSU], even though, you know, some of the work was a lot. I think I learned way more [at FSU] than I’d expected. It’s great to be back.
Now that you’re back at FSU as a staff member, how does it compare to being a student?
I think that this time around, being new again, I’m not so lost. As a new student, you have this kind of feeling, “What is this place? I don’t really know anybody.” Now that I’ve already gone through that, and I know the school very well, I came back here with more confidence. I know the perfect place to park, too!
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to hang out with my friends as much as I can. I enjoy cooking, baking. I like to read and write – you know, the basic English major stuff. … I’m trying to join some affinity groups on campus. I’d like to be a part of communities here on campus, get as involved as I can be. Starting next week, I’m going to be able to start meeting with students who are looking to create new clubs, and I have a list of those students. I’m excited to jump right in.
What were you involved in when you were a student here?
When I was here, I was the co-president of the English Club. I also worked as a student worker in admissions. I worked under Shayna Eddy over there, and Mary Parsons. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be more involved just because at that point, I was working three jobs, so it was a lot. I was working there, I was working at MassBay, and I was also working at Boston Market. The joys of being a college student!
What do you like the most about working with students?
I think that it’s that I can make a difference in their lives. I can help them be successful. I’m excited in this role to be a resource for them, somebody that they can turn to if they have questions or if they’re having problems or anything like that. I want to be that person who would help them. Throughout my master’s program, I was in internships – I was in advising roles. One of them was helping students get in good academic standing, so I do have a good understanding of the academic side. Now, I’m in student affairs, so it’s, you know, a good balance. Every student should have a good balance between working and extracurriculars. I want to give whatever help I can give.
What are you looking forward to the most during your time here?
I think that my hope is that I can put my stamp here at Framingham State, and make a difference – be the person that everyone knows, like, “Oh yeah, I can go to Brendan.” Once I get to that level, I’ll be happy. I’ll be happy when people know that I’m here to be helpful. I think that’s my initial goal.
What are you most proud of in your career so far?
Every step I take, every new transition I take is a step toward something greater. When I first started at MassBay, that was my start to higher education and my love for it. Taking a student who is super upset, who doesn’t know what to do, has issues going on – taking that student, helping them, giving them resources so that by the time they leave, they’re leaving with a smile on their face, knowing what they need to do. That is something that’s so important to me. I think coming here as the next step in my career – this is my first official full-time job in higher ed – was something to be proud about. And I really, really love that they gave me the opportunity to come here.
Do you have any advice for FSU students?
I think that getting involved is something that is super, super important. It’s something that a lot of people think might hinder their academics, that it could be something they’re worried about – splitting up their time for different things. But statistics show how important clubs really are. It helps [students] build skills to understand how to work in a team, become a leader, things like that. So, it really is important – not that academics are not important – to find that good balance. That’s where I would love to be able to help if students have issues with that.