The Boomerang Effect
Touro Poli-Sci Grad Yosef Brown’s Full-Circle Approach to Marketing and Life
Sometimes, what goes around does come around—in the best sense of that expression. In 2009, Yosef Brown graduated from Lander College of Arts and Science with a BA in Political Science. His previous concentration had been marketing, and while attending a campus job fair, the St. Louis native-cum-Long Island resident landed an interview with his current employer, online-advertising firm Blue Cherry Group, where he’s a senior manager. So when the time came for Brown to be on the other side of that table at a Touro recruitment event earlier this year, he assisted in the hiring of a fellow TC alum. “I felt like I was sort of doing my due diligence by helping another Touro graduate get a job when Touro helped me do the same,” he explains. “That was an important experience.”
Thus far in his relatively young life, this husband and father of two has made a career out of accumulating formative experiences. It’s a curiosity reflected in the academic choices he made at Touro and his change in majors. As Brown tells it, “I got the impression that marketing was more of a hands-on, real-world experience,” he says, which led him in a slightly different direction for his studies. “I wanted a major that would allow me to write as the major requirement,” he explains. “It didn’t necessarily undermine my ability to go into advertising or marketing.”
During the summer of 2008, Brown continued to juggle his dual interests—expressing himself through the written word and more directly interfacing with peers and colleagues—by securing an internship with an accounting firm. Shortly thereafter, while still finishing up his senior year, he began freelance writing for a Brooklyn-based ad agency. Once he graduated, the credentials continued to pile up: business development here, sales there.
“I sort of self-educated myself in terms of marketing and advertising,” he acknowledges. And despite his myriad interests, he beams that his role within Blue Cherry “is rather fulfilling, because you really see your efforts come to fruition, especially after a big sale or after pushing a campaign for a while and seeing the revenue you’ve brought in and the partnerships you’ve developed. There’s a lot of creative thinking and collaborating that goes into it as well, so I’m definitely enjoying what I’m doing.”
Ultimately, this path was laid out somewhat evidently dating back to Brown’s youth. Even growing up, he loved converting others to his perspectives and using his intellect and vocabulary to gain confidants and co-conspirators. That, and a sense of humor. “I was always a bit of a comedian,” he says. “And I enjoyed entertaining people and bringing them over to my side, making them like me and appreciate what I had to say and offer. So, definitely, I wanted to go into something along the lines of what I’m doing now as a result of those experiences.”
All the above renders it no surprise that Brown’s biggest advice for students figuring out how to plot their next handful of years is to mix things up and be able to apply a wide set of abilities. And implicitly, to bear in mind that aforementioned adage about things boomeranging back your way. “It’s important to have what I’d call transplantable skills,” he says. “My being a writer—in no way, shape or form did that actually point to a particular career path, but I knew it was a skill I wanted to utilize in whatever I did. And if I had some sort of inherent draw toward marketing or advertising, I knew I would do what I had to. In my case, it was primarily outside of my formal education to give me real-world experience [so] that I could apply that later on in whatever discipline.”