“Conversations with Brad”
Guest Article by Grayson Wiles
This past Thursday night, I had the opportunity to participate in the Managerial Studies Visiting Executive program and go to dinner with Brad White, Managing Director at BrightHouse, alongside 16 other students and Professor Art Johnsen. I now realize how lucky I was to be there since the dinner was completely booked within two minutes of being open to students. In addition to getting the opportunity to dine at the University Club of Nashville, I thought this would be a great way to hear and learn from a professional consultant in a casual setting that would allow for more candid conversations. The night certainly lived up to expectations!
While most executives would only come to campus to recruit or give a lecture, Brad came to campus to give advice and share his insight into the consulting, marketing, and branding world; he also shared personal stories that went beyond business. The night’s topics ranged from how to incorporate “creatives” into the strategy of a company all the way to work/life balance and coaching kids’ lacrosse. Brad told story after story that highlighted his own interests and how they led to different stages of his career. I found it most refreshing that he was not there to sell himself or his company. When we told him about our interests, he did not hesitate to provide advice about other great companies in the field and the best ways to get into other industries. I felt like he wanted to be there in order to tell us the things that he wishes he had known when he was in our positions.
Overall, I was incredibly pleased that I went to the event and had the opportunity to hear from an accomplished, yet down-to-earth executive. I am glad that Vanderbilt and the Managerial Studies Program is committed to fostering learning outside of the classroom. If you get the chance to attend one of these, you better jump on the opportunity!