Meet Brandon Rodriguez

Criminal Justice, 2015

 

Current Position: Account Analyst with The Graham Company

I had a few important criteria when it came to choosing a college, but mainly I wanted to continue my athletic career and be far enough from home without being too far. GMercyU hit the sweet spot, allowing me to be a student-athlete and to be around 2.5 hours away from home.

GMercyU Experience

I initially started as a Biology major and quickly realized that it wasn’t the right fit for me. When deciding on a new major, I took a step back and thought about what I wanted for my future at GMercyU and beyond. After conversing with family members, who have spent years in the Criminal Justice industry, I realized that was the right path for me.

The Criminal Justice program is fantastic at GMercyU, and Professors Z* and Professor McGrain (Doc) are obvious standouts. They always make themselves available to their students and really take an interest in their success, both personally and academically. The Criminal Justice program, like most GMercyU programs, is incredibly hands on and allows the students to benefit from the many relationships with local agencies and figures. I didn’t realize until after I graduated, but that kind of exposure is not only unique, but incredibly valuable.

I was also quite active outside of the classroom being a two-sport athlete, playing soccer and tennis, a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and working for the athletic department in various capacities.

Life as a Student-Athlete

Anyone that has grown up playing sports knows that your team is like a mini-family, and a college team is no different. It was super important for me personally because I came to GMercyU not knowing anyone and not being from the general area, which was unusual for a GMercyU athlete in 2012.

I was able to come into my freshman year with an immediate group of friends who I could relate to easily as we were all experiencing the same things together. I was lucky enough to be named a captain my senior year and it taught me lessons that transcended the field and have helped me in my career and personal life -  time management, leadership, teamwork, and at times, how to be humble. I strongly encourage anyone that is considering playing a sport in college to do it, it was the best decision I've ever made.

Post-Graduation Success

When I graduated, like most recent graduates, I was in a bit of a “no-man’s land.” I was unsure of what I wanted to do or where I wanted to be. I moved home for a bit before deciding that I wanted to come back to Pennsylvania, specifically Philadelphia. If you had told me my freshman year that I’d be living in Philadelphia I would have laughed, but four years at GMercyU gave me a love and appreciation for the city that eventually brought me back.

Through a GMercyU connection, I was able to land my first job out of college, where I worked for three years, in insurance fraud investigations. It sounds exactly like what it is, if there was a red flag raised for insurance fraud, my company would investigate it.

It led me to my current role at The Graham Company, which is slightly less investigative but has to do with the laws surrounding the insurance industry. To put it simply, I make sure that my clients are compliant with any relevant laws pertaining to their insurance needs. It certainly is not a field I envisioned myself, and one that I didn't even know existed, but it definitely goes to show that your degree and life can take you in many directions.