Alumni Profile: Brett Brawerman
Brett Brawerman graduated with an MA in International & Intercultural Communication in 2016.
What is your current professional position and what do you love about it?
I'm the Director of People Empowerment at Feedonomics. It's a wonderfully crunchy title that means I get to focus on making people happy through organizational and interpersonal communication—what could be better?!
Feedonomics is a small-but-mighty technology company which offers anyone in the e-commerce arena a more effective way to sell and advertise online. The company is undergoing a period of hypergrowth, so my team and I are in charge of hiring the right people then providing the Global teams chances to connect with each other and opportunities to advance themselves. I'm lucky enough to put people in jobs that hopefully challenge them in a way they enjoy. For me, this is the perfect mix of strategy, ethics and development.
How did your Master's degree and the networks you developed as a student prepare you for what you are doing now?
Almost every one of my classes in the IIC program focused around taking a big-picture idea and refining it until the message and execution is perfectly tailored to the audience and/or intended outcome. These projects varied in size and objective, but it was always about seeking a greater understanding then delivering an impactful campaign (of some kind) that takes every perspective into account. This is such an important skill to have which has really helped me connect with my teammates and build a strategy that not only fits their present but supports their future.
What was your favorite thing about your graduate experience at the University of Denver?
I loved that the whole point of our program and those conversations was to challenge [and build upon] the status quo. This always led to difficult but constructive dialogue and really made each lecture fun. I now get to lead a people function using this exact mentality. Why have we always done things a certain way? How can we tinker with them to make them more inclusive, more efficient, more sensible? The people that I learned alongside at DU also geeked out on these types of questions. Plus, we shared a lot of laughs in between the serious stuff.
What advice do you have for prospective students who are thinking about getting a Master's degree in International & Intercultural Communication at DU?
Figure out what really stretches your comfort zone. Maybe that is a cultural forward question that's been lingering in your brain or an industry you would like to change/support. Then go after that comfort zone, seek out classes and conversations that push the boundaries on your understanding. The whole idea is to foster a connection so meaningful and boundaryless that we can introduce and create sustainable behavior change. So make sure you actively search for those competing narratives and uncomfortable silences, because they are what help us grow. That's when a master's degree is really worth it.