Brent French

Hometown: Westborough, Mass.
Degree earned from WPI: MBA
Current employer: My civilian career is with Lexmark International; I am also a colonel in the Air Force Reserve.
Job title: Industry consultant (Lexmark)
Mobilization assistant to the deputy director of installations and mission support (USAF Reserve)

Why did you choose WPI?
After leaving the active duty Air Force, I was looking for an MBA that would help me make a meaningful contribution within the information technology sector and bridge the gap between my military experiences and civilian aspirations. WPI’s focus on the management of technology was a perfect fit. The rigor of the program—combined with the exceptional quality of the students and faculty—made choosing WPI an easy decision.

How did WPI's philosophy of Theory and Practice, and working with teams, prepare you for facing real-world challenges in the workplace?
WPI imbues its students with an attitude that allows them to become scholarly practitioners, able to apply theory pragmatically to everyday problems. This approach ultimately bleeds over to the work setting.

Any other ways your studies at WPI prepared you for working in your field?
The MBA prepared me extremely well for the demands of creating market-penetration strategies in the information technology sector. I apply lessons learned from marketing classes, financial accounting, and business law on a daily basis. The leadership curriculum at WPI has also made me a much more effective agent for change within the military. 

Awards Earned:

  • WPI’s Thomas J. Tracy Graduate Management Program Award, 2007
  • Commander, Best Large Security Forces Squadron in USAF
  • Commander, Best Large Security Forces Squadron in Air Mobility Command (three times)
  • Bronze Star Medal for command of the International Security Assistance Force Military Police at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan
  • Commander, Outstanding Unit in Support of NATO Operations
  • Air Force Reserve Officer of the Year, 2010
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