Brandon greatly benefits from the support and connections he has made during his time at WPI. He credits Professor Heilman with helping him overcome challenges as a pre-med student. “He's someone I look up to," he says. “He uses a teaching style I appreciate because it helps form an academic challenge, while taking into consideration stressors and challenges that students may be facing. Professor Heilman has always been a leader and is very easy to talk to.”
Brandon also recognizes his development as a student. “I have grown as a scholar and am understanding concepts I never could have fathomed four years ago,” he says.
Getting involved and giving back are two things that have helped him thrive as a student. “I have made so many friends through different organizations," he says. "As the External VP and Philanthropy Chair of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, I have put on numerous events on campus that raise money for Friendly House (a social service organization and United Way agency) and give the students of WPI a fun time. These include Watermelon Bash and Summerfest. I also organized a city-wide food drive that collected over 12,000 pounds of food and over $3,000 in monetary donations to feed more than 500 families at Friendly House. Events like these have been possible due to the connections I have fostered and the resources at my disposal via my vast network.”
“My favorite thing about WPI,” he says, “is the opportunities for advancement and networking, as well as the people. Everyone is so supportive, and you often feel like a big fish in a small pond—your voice is heard and there is a place for everyone.”
WPI’s project-based learning has given Brandon a new perspective on working in a team. He says, “It has introduced me to so many different people and helped me spread ideas and grow. I've been able to learn more about the way others work, and test different methods of communication to arrive at a good result. WPI does a great job giving its graduates a competitive edge in the outside world with its project-based learning. Not only do we have unique things to talk about in interviews, but we have usually gained many social skills by interacting with so many different people.”
For those considering studying at WPI, he wants students to remember to ask for help. “Don't be afraid to reach out and find your place," he says. "There are plenty of people who want to help—you just have to connect with them. There is a great sense of community and belonging. Keep an open mind and don't be afraid to try and make change happen.”
After graduation, Brandon wants to enroll in medical school, obtain his MD, and eventually become a practicing physician. “I am confident in saying that I have had the most unique experience I could ask for at WPI,” he says. “From opportunities for independence and adulthood, to the great social network—none of my friends at other schools are having remotely similar experiences. The topics being taught can be learned anywhere, but the opportunities for application in a nurturing setting has been an incredible experience I am so thankful for.”