Do you work in the restaurant or food chain management industry or know someone who does? Current senior Brandon Bowen dreams of making people happy through fellowship over food, hoping to own a chain of bars and restaurants one day. He would love your advice about the best places to work, how to start a food-service oriented business, and any other insights that you may want to offer him.

Brandon is a current communication studies major with a concentration in public relations. His dream job is to be the founder and owner of a chain of restaurants and bars that put joy in spending time with people over good food and good drinks. Graduating in May, Brandon is looking for a job and is no stranger to interacting with people from all walks of life; “I have always loved people and being around others… there is something rewarding and fulfilling about making people smile and laugh, and bringing out the joy in others through conversation” he says.

Brandon was drawn to Longwood for a number of reasons, the first of which is the beautiful campus nestled in the heart of the rolling hills of Virginia. He says of his first tour of Longwood: “I fell in love with the campus… and who wouldn’t love this place if you were able to come and learn here every day?” Brandon also points to the small classes, one-on-one attention he gets from professors, the mentorship he gets from professional and administrative staff, and also touts the reasonable cost of a Longwood education as relative to the investment along with the scholarships he receives because of generous alumni support.

In addition to his academic work, Brandon is also involved in a whole host of organizations. He is a brother and Standards Chairman of Theta Chi Fraternity, Chair of the Student Philanthropy Council, a founding member and former Campus Outreach Chair for Elwood’s Cabinet, and the former Luminaria Chair for Longwood’s Relay for Life. At the top of the list, Brandon is the President of the Student Government Association, making him the student body President, a unique position he didn’t know he was destined to fill when he first arrived at Longwood. Amongst those involvements, Brandon has also worked in the Office of Alumni & Career Services as a student staff member, and currently works in the Office of Student Development as an Intern. Most recently and notably, Brandon also had the opportunity to serve on the Equity Action Task Force, a special, appointed board of students, staff, and alumni, who composed a list of recommendations for President Reveley as the University works to address the history and presence of racial injustice and inequity within the University community.

If Brandon could thank one person from his time at Longwood, he would send a huge thank you to Emilee Jones ‘18, his Peer Mentor during his first year on campus, “because she was the best Peer Mentor and first year advocate I could have asked for.” He continues “we still keep in touch even today, three years after our first meeting, and we are constantly helping one another grow and learn through life’s triumphs and defeats.” And his favorite class you ask? That would have to be COMM400: Communication Ethics with Dr. Christopher Paal, because “the content is beyond interesting…we get the chance to discuss moral and ethical dilemmas in today’s context, and we learn to understand how differing perspectives frame ethics and how one person’s thoughts or experiences can alter whether they believe something is ethical or not,” Brandon describes.

Originally hailing from the city of Hampton, Virginia, Brandon wasn’t sure if college was going to be the right fit, but there has always been an inner-drive to be better and do better. Brandon explains, “I am driven by my personal goal to be better today than I was yesterday…life is about growth and movement, and if I am the same person today as I was yesterday, then I have taken today for granted and haven’t truly learned anything from what life has put in front of me.” Brandon’s driving force is finding success through being able to provide and do for others, what people have done for him. “There have been countless people that have worked hard to get me where I am, and I owe it to them and the world to help those that come after me, just like those who helped me and nudged me along the way to where I am now,” Brandon explains. He continues, “success for me is finding myself in a position where I can not only provide for my family and friends, but also for those who haven’t been as lucky or blessed as I have been.”

Consider connecting with Brandon on LinkedIn and share your advice and any job opportunities that could be available to him after graduation.

About the Author

Dustyn Hall ‘18

Dustyn Hall '18 is the Director of Young Alumni & Student Giving in the Office of Institutional Advancement, and has served in that role since July 2019. Before his current service at Longwood began, Dustyn worked for Phi Mu Delta National Fraternity & Educational Foundation as the Director of Advancement, where he oversaw the development, communications, and alumni engagement sectors of their operations.

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