Alumni Profile: Brandon King ‘18
This past November, Brandon King ’18 participated as a panelist at the WPI Alumni of Color’s first on-campus event, an alumni social and panel in partnership with the WPI chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. At the event, alumni talked about their experiences post-graduation and shared insights with current students about how they got to where they are now. Below, Brandon shares his WPI experience and beyond.
Q: Who made an impact on your WPI experience?
A: There are too many people to name that had an impact on my experience at WPI, but I think in a more general sense the largest impact came from the overall community. Whether it was clubs such as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) or study groups from the various classes, I was able to meet people that brought such a wide variety of perspectives that I learned from and carry with me to this day.
Q: Share your favorite place on campus.
A: My favorite place on campus would have to be the Rec Center. This used to be where we all used to meet up, play basketball, and even do homework. I still remember the winter of 2015 when nearly every Monday in C-Term, we had a snow day – no classes, but it didn’t stop us from going to over to the gym.
Q: What lessons learned at WPI do you continue to apply to your life today?
A: One lesson learned from WPI that I continue to use to this day comes from the saying they engrained in everyone’s head at New Student Orientation, “Do the work, go to class, ask for help.” Specifically, being able to ask for help is essential in the working world. Within any field individuals go into, there are going to be new problems that you may not have the expertise to solve. Being comfortable with using your resources and asking others for help is essential for success.
Q: Looking back, what was the most valuable experience at WPI that continues to shape your life today?
A: I would say the most valuable experiences I had at WPI would be my IQP and MQP. I had the opportunity to travel to Paraguay for my IQP to work at a small agricultural school and was able to travel to Panama for my MQP where I worked for the Panama Canal Authority. Through each of these opportunities, I was able to work with people from different cultures and backgrounds towards a common goal. The work-style varied from the typical “fire-drill” that tends to be required for projects on campus and required more time getting to know the team members; this is something I’ve come to appreciate over the years as the friendships built during the projects have lasted post project-completion and graduation.
Q: What are the ways you have stayed connected to/involved with WPI and the people you’ve met here? Why would you encourage others to stay connected?
A: One of the best ways I’ve found to keep up with those I’ve connected to through WPI has been through traditional methods of communications, i.e.. texting/calling. Another great option for keeping up with your network is via LinkedIn. Post-graduation, many of us have moved to different states and even countries so keeping up with everyone/checking in every once and a while has been essential to maintaining friendships over the years. I’d encourage current students to maintain their network post-graduation as those within your network may become life-long friends, business partners, and advocates.