A Great School: Video Transcript

Brigham A. McCown (BA Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs, Miami, 1988) [Chairman and CEO of Nouveau Inc.]: Coming to Miami was wonderful. I was a kid from a small town in southeastern Ohio, and many may find this hard to believe, but Miami seemed large to me at the time. But through the diversity of opportunities here at Miami, whether they're extracurricular events or classes themselves, really broadened my horizons.

The degree from Miami has helped prepare me in my career in multiple ways. First, having a liberal arts background provides a well-rounded foundation to proceed into the world. That, coupled with the ability to analyze different situations, to take facts, to take challenges, and figure out how to turn challenges into solutions has all been a part of what I learned here at Miami.

I believe a liberal arts major helps one, no matter what walk of life they go into, no matter what career path they want to take, provides a solid foundation of analytical reasoning, being able to communicate, as well as analyze different situations.

I think one of the things that really helped me at Miami, providing support and certainly peer support as well, is that I had a wonderful mentor in Dr. Warren Mason from the Political Science department. He and his wife Bonnie recently retired. I've kept in touch with them through the years after leaving Miami, and it's wonderful to be able to have that type of education and then have someone who will help foster your career growth as well. On top of that, I have many lifelong friends that I first met in a dorm room my freshman year that I still keep in touch with. And then finally, I spent two years as an R.A. with the Office of Residence Life, and that was a wonderful experience as well.

I think the good news for students as they look beyond graduation is that Miami's reputation both here in Ohio and around the country is very strong. Everywhere I go people say to me, "Oh, you went to Miami University? That’s a great school." And so as graduates leave here, they're equipped with a very strong degree that is recognized around the country and even internationally, and that will equip them well for their future endeavors.

Graduating students are transforming themselves from being students into being leaders in the community no matter what job they take from the beginning. I think the most important advice that anybody can give a graduating student is pick a job that inspires you, one that appeals to your interest, and have fun.

[February 2015]