Brooks Brothers, America’s longest-established retailer, hosted a private networking event for college students who enrolled in Braven at Lehman College (called Fellows). Senior Executives, including Brooks Brothers CEO Ken Ohashi and SPARC CEO Marc Miller, and other leaders and associates from various cross functional teams joined at Brooks Brothers Hudson Yards store to chat with Fellows to share advice and open up their networks. Brooks Brothers also arranged for a photographer to take professional headshots for use on career networking platforms.
“This event was meaningful in a lot of ways,” shared Amie Jallow, a Spring 2022 Fellow. “It helped me feel more confident in my ability to interact with and learn from top executives who I often think of as superhumans. I also learned about opportunities within the retail industry that I didn’t know about and can consider.”
Each semester, the national nonprofit Braven partners with organizations on the Capstone Challenge, the final project in the Career and Leadership Accelerator program where Fellows use design thinking skills to develop real-world solutions to a question posed by the employer. Last semester, Brooks Brothers sponsored the challenge in New York City, and this event also allowed the opportunity to celebrate the winning team.
COURTESY OF BROOKS BROTHERS
“At Brooks Brothers, we are committed to celebrating success, and Braven’s mission helps college students achieve economic mobility,” said Ken Ohashi, Chief Executive Officer of Brooks Brothers. “We recognize that we have access to many influential brands and professionals, and we want to ensure that we can support these talented students who have so much potential.”
Braven empowers promising, underrepresented college students with the skills, confidence, experiences, and networks necessary to transition from college to strong first jobs which lead to meaningful careers and lives of impact. To date, Braven has worked with 5,100 students across 5 universities (Rutgers University-Newark, San José State, Lehman College, National Louis University, and Spelman College). Within six months of graduation, 61% of Braven’s 2021 graduates secured quality full-time jobs worthy of their bachelor’s degree or enrolled in graduate school compared to 54% of all graduates and 45% of students from similar backgrounds.
“We are so grateful for Brooks Brothers’ support and involvement with Braven,” said Kilsys Payamps-Roure, Founding Executive Director of Braven NYC. “Networks are key in helping college students, especially those who are first in their families to attend college and/or come from humble beginnings, on their path to economic success and the freedom it brings, and these new forged connections will be invaluable for Fellows.”