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Graceland University Alumnus Brian Anders Shares Real-World Tips on Campus

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Alumni, Faculty

November 23, 2016

Graceland alum Brian Anders

Brian Anders ‘13 gives credit to his experience at Graceland University for landing a great job post-college, and he came back Nov. 21, to tell his story and give real-world tips to current students. 

Graceland’s Resch Science and Technology Hall hosted a sit-in session with Anders where an engaged audience of students and professors packed the small classroom as he spoke of his experience from internship to full-time employee at Nest Labs, a now sibling company of Google. Nest was a small, privately held start-up producing home automation systems when Anders began his internship, but within months, the company announced Google’s $3.2 billion acquisition.

Anders shared that, at Nest, there had been a diligent, hard-working ethic, which has transitioned to work/life balance of Google culture in his present position as a UX Engineer. He attributes his work ethic during his internship as the catalyst for surpassing interns from MIT and Stanford to achieving initial employment with the company.

Anders expressed the importance of internships to help recent graduates really discover what it is they want to do with their degree. He gave good counsel to the students advising them not to just rely on the classroom; to get organized and find something that interests them and build upon it. In job searching, Anders’ recommendation was not to settle for just a single job offer, as it causes desperation, and to begin the search early, lining up several interviews to allow options. He explained it is important to find something they believe in. He continued by expressing that graduates need to trust in their own abilities to succeed, to know and define their parameters, understand cost of living in the areas of which they look to live and to be cognizant and protective of their personal brand.

Anders believes his direction, abilities and confidence were largely influenced by his Graceland experience, helping him land a great job post-college, and he credits much of his success to the guidance and knowledge of his professors and to some specific classes. He said calculus taught him complicated problem solving, while philosophy and psychology prepared him for the market place, and how to work with people.

Anders came back to “the Hill” to share his success and to encourage current Gracelanders to work hard and to know that their Graceland education will serve them well as they go out into the world.

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